Tag Archives: budget

South Africa shines in Global Budget Survey

The International Budget Partnership has just released the Open Budget Survey 2010, the only independent, comparative, regular measure of budget transparency and accountability around the world.

Produced every two years by independent experts not beholden to national governments, the report reveals that 74 of the 94 countries assessed fail to meet basic standards of transparency and accountability with national budgets. This opens the door to abuse and inappropriate and inefficient use of public money.

“The internationally recognised index this year analysed 94 countries worldwide and South Africa came out on top, squeezing Britain out of top place into third place, and placing New Zealand second,” it said in a statement.

South Africa came out with a score of 92 out of 100.

International Budget Partnership Open Budget Survey 2010

“The worst performers include China, Saudi Arabia, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal and newly-democratic Iraq, which provide little to no information to their citizens,” the partnership said.

The good news is that all governments — no matter their income levels or political systems or dependence on aid — can improve transparency and accountability quickly and with very little additional cost or effort by publishing online all of the budget information they already produce and by inviting public participation in the budget process.

* Find out which 40 countries provide such minimal information to the public that the country’s governments are able to hide unpopular, wasteful, and corrupt spending.

* Learn how governments can improve transparency and accountability quickly and easily by publishing online all of the budget information they already produce and by inviting public participation in the budget process.

* Find out which countries showed improvements in their average  performance over three consecutive Open Budget Surveys.

Read Full Report

Source: www.internationalbudget.org


R17bn Budget hike for education

Education continues to receive the lion’s share of South Africa’s Budget, with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announcing an allocation of R165-billion to the Basic Education and Higher Education departments for 2010/11 – an increase of more than R17-billion compared to the previous year.

A further R2.7-billion will be made available to help the Department of Basic Education tackle serious challenges in South Africa’s schooling system, including unacceptably low numeracy and literacy levels, inadequately trained teachers, poor management, and a lack of basic resources in poor schools.

Delivering his maiden Budget speech in Parliament, Cape Town on Wednesday, Gordhan said that while government spending needed to be kept in check, education remained the number one priority in the country’s fiscus.

Workbooks, assessments

The R2.7-billion would go towards the roll-out of workbooks in all 11 official languages to help raise literacy and numeracy levels in grades 3, 6 and 9. The workbooks would help teachers map out clear plans and guide effective use of the curriculum.

An annual R28-million is also being provided for national assessments of literacy and numeracy in grades 3, 6 and 9.

These assessments, announced by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation Address last week, will allow teachers and parents to intervene at the right time in students’ careers in order to improve their performance.

Spending by provincial education departments is also expected to grow by 8.1 percent per year to R162-billion over the next three years.

FET colleges, universities

Gordhan said the country’s Further Education and Training colleges would receive R12-billion in 2010/11, with a further R1.3-billion set aside to improve the salaries of educators in this sector over the next three years.

The government will use the R12-billion to promote higher training standards to meet the requirements of a changing economy, while addressing the lack of training in certain key areas.

South Africa’s lack of skilled labour is hampering the country’s economic growth, with twice as many students enrolled in universities as in vocational colleges – the reverse of what is the case in most developed countries.

Allocations to South Africa’s higher education institutions have grown from R7.1-billion in 2001/02 to R15.3-billion for 2010/11. An additional R1-billion is to be provided over the next three years to increase subsidies to universities, while R5.6-billion will go to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

Source: BuaNews, educationbeyondborders.org, sasix.co.za


R6bn boost for higher education

The allocation for higher education is expected to grow from R15.3 billion in the 2008/09 financial year to R21.3 billion in 2011/12.

Higher Education and Training Minister Dr Blade Nzimande said that in terms of the provisional Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) allocation for higher education, the budget is set to grow progressively over the next three years.

Releasing the higher education funding for 2009/10 to 2011/12 early this week, Nzimande said these figures were tentative and subject to confirmation in the budget presentation.

He said provision had been made for earmarked allocations of R39 million for 2010/11 and R41 million for 2011/12 for the National Institutes for Higher Education in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape where exploratory work is being conducted on establishing new universities.

Nzimande has also recommitted his department to reducing the percentage of students who are not subsidised as a consequence of over-enrolment by universities.

Meanwhile, a ministerial task team has recommended that the current policy on the calculation and distribution of teaching development grants be discontinued.

The main recommendations of the task team were that the minister should be able to set the annual amount available for teaching development as a fixed proportion of the total MTEF allocation for teaching outputs.

Nzimande said various other recommendations of the task team have been adapted to a new draft policy, which he wishes to implement in 2011/12.

The minister will seek the advice of the Council for Higher Education before taking a final decision on the implementation of this new policy.

Source: BuaNews