- Millions of South Africans are eagerly waiting for the 2023 Budget Speech to find out how the government plans to improve the lives of citizens.
- Civil society groups are calling on the government to address the education crisis.
- The energy crisis is impacting every sphere of society.
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Millions of South Africans are eagerly waiting for the 2023 Budget Speech to find out how the government plans to improve the lives of citizens. Civil society groups are calling on the government to address the education crisis.
Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana will deliver the 2023 Budget Speech Today, 22 February. The minister will provide details of spending and revenue collection proposals to implement government plans to address South Africa’s energy crisis and prevailing socioeconomic challenges.
The energy crisis is impacting every sphere of society. As the power utility, Eskom announced Stage 6 load shedding. This means that citizens are without electricity for around 10 hours per day.
While many will be eagerly awaiting government plans to deal with the energy crises, the Advocacy group Equal Education warned that another crisis is being overshadowed.
Equal Education explained that most of South Africa’s public schools are without libraries, lack reliable electricity and water, and rely on dangerous pit toilets as their only form of sanitation.
The group is calling for an end to austerity budgeting and to ensure that funding for basic education is on par with inflation. They are further calling for the Public Procurement Bill to be finalized to help fight corruption and mismanagement in school infrastructure delivery.
“The physical state of our schools is a clear indication that the system is not functioning as it should. Given these appalling conditions, it is no surprise that many learners struggle with foundational skills such as reading,” declared the advocacy group.
While the Department of Basic Education (DBE) is expected to receive an increased budgetary allocation in the 2023/2024 financial year, Equal Education says when inflation is taken into account, funding for basic education will shrink by 1.7%.
The impact of a reduced budget on education means that learners will receive fewer resources and by extension support. It also impacts school infrastructure and negatively affects schools with insufficient or overworked school staff.
In 2022, DBE minister Angie Motshekga announced they are working with the National Treasury to provide targeted funding for overcrowded schools through the Special Intervention Programme on Overcrowding in Schools.
Equal Education said they will be only the program and will monitor if any money is ring-fenced as well as how much money will be prioritized to address the issues of school overcrowding.
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Demzyportal Category: News