Black Sash Media Statements

Black Sash calls for clarity in Budget after 'frustratingly vague' address to nation by President Zuma - BLACK SASH, 16 Feb 2010

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, 16 February 2010

The Black Sash is eager to hear how Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan intends realising President Zuma’s ‘State of the Nation’ promise to get South Africans back to work. Nothing is more important for our country than the creation of decent jobs where there is currently massive unemployment and growing desperation. And nothing can be more crucial for the future of South Africa than the re-awakening of hope for young people where there is presently anger and despair.

Last week, President Zuma was frustratingly vague on how his government intends combating poverty and rising unemployment. While we acknowledge the bold decision to borrow money to maintain desperately needed social spending, we hope that the new expanded Industrial Policy Action Plan will truly promote decent work and sustainable livelihoods as it claims. This budget must ensure interventions that are more empowering and meaningful for poor households.

As more of our tax money is earmarked for public-private partnerships, we need to be extremely vigilant about how this money is spent. All programmes run in the public interest and funded by government, should be subjected to the same checks and balances we expect from government itself.  We would also like to see a commitment to good governance by the private sector which will benefit enormously from this spending.

The Black Sash will continue to argue that every tax rand needs to be spent wisely, and seen to be spent effectively on the core needs of our society – not on pet projects; administrative bottlenecks; corrupt tenders and poor workmanship; nor the distasteful over-indulgence of some corporate leaders, public servants and institutions.  

In addition to the importance of the industrial policies we adopt, the Black Sash would like to remind our government that we have a constitutional obligation to create a comprehensive social security net so that no one suffers the indignity of poverty. We continue to look to the budget for concrete evidence that progress will be made in the critical and much-debated area of social policy reform – to ensure the basic human rights of the sick, elderly and unemployed. 

ENDS.

For interview requests, please contact:

Phelisa Nkomo

Black Sash Advocacy Programme Manager

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

078-655 7774

www.blacksash.org.za

OR

Elroy Paulus

Black Sash Advocacy Programme Manager

Cell: 072-382 8175

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

OR

Nyembezi Nkosikhulule

Black Sash Advocacy Programme Manager

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Cell: 082-429 4719

www.blacksash.org.za

For more information, please contact:

Sarah Nicklin 
Black Sash Media Officer
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
073-150 9525

www.blacksash.org.za