Social and Economic Justice

The Social and Economic Justice unit at the National Labour and Economic Development Institute (NALEDI) is involved in the areas of economic planning, social development and poverty alleviation taking into consideration the most impoverished, marginalised and vulnerable societies drawn from South Africa’s populace.

Social and Economic Justice

The Social and Economic Justice unit at the National Labour and Economic Development Institute (NALEDI) is involved in the areas of economic planning, social development and poverty alleviation taking into consideration the most impoverished, marginalised and vulnerable societies drawn from South Africa’s populace.

People’s Budget Campaign

Since 1999, the Confederation of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), the South African Non-Governmental Organisation Coalition (SANGOCO) and the South African Christian Association (SACC) have been involved in a campaign- known as the People’s Budget Campaign (PBC). The main objective of this Campaign has been to enhance public participation and monitoring of the national budgetary process, widen the parameters of debate on economic and social policy in South Africa, and use the People’s Budget as a tool for mass mobilisation and action. To do this, the PBC aims at increasing the effective use of the budget as an instrument for reconstruction and development and specifically to ensure that the budget is planned and allocated in such a way that it is aligned to national development priorities so that the basic needs of the poor are met; that it leads to the creation of decent sustainable jobs; that the majority of people are assisted to get access to various assets and skills, and that it further supports democratic and participatory governance from the grassroots level.

During its eleven years of existence, the PBC has made a wide variety of recommendations ranging from better policy and development approaches to spending priorities. For instance, the PBC has called for a Basic Income Grant to be paid to everyone legally resident in South Africa, the establishment of a national health insurance scheme, adequate funding for public hospitals, a substantial increase in the education budget and increased spending on low income housing amongst others.

Aims

Since its inception, the PBC has continuously aimed to achieve the following objectives:

  • Widen parameters for debate on economic and social policy in South Africa.
  • Increase the effective use of the National Budget as an instrument for reconstruction and development.
  • That the National Budget is planned and allocated in such a way that it not only meets the basic needs of the poor but also leads to the creation of sustainable jobs and improved conditions of life for all South Africans.
  • Strengthen support for a much more democratic and participatory governance.
  • Support environmental protection and ensure that development is sustainable throughout the region.
  • Locate fiscal policy within an integrated developmental perspective.
  • Table and submit proposals for rapid and lasting poverty eradication, particularly in rural areas.
  • Provide revenue and expenditure proposals that translate our vision into practice.

Civil Society Speaks (CSS)

The Civil Society Speaks booklet is an annual publication that highlights spending recommendations and proposals as made by the People’s Budget Campaign. The publication has, to date, rigorously engaged with government and other key stakeholders towards ensuring that input from civil society receives serious consideration and that it stimulates meaningful dialogue on how South African revenue can best be utilised in efforts to eradicate poverty and reduce unemployment and social inequality – so as to improve the living conditions of all South Africans. Spending proposals include:

  • The provision of a comprehensive social security system
  • Campaigns and advocacy strategies aimed at women, the youth and children
  • Education
  • Health and the National Health Insurance (NHI)
  • Alternative energy
  • Infrastructure development
  • Land and agrarian reform
  • Housing and spatial development
  • Revenue proposals and budget reform

The Social and Economic Justice unit is further involved in additional work which is closely linked to the proposals highlighted above.

The unit is composed of Ms Mbali M. Toyana as Programme Manager, and an educational trainer, Ms Fundi Nzimande.

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