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Country analysis > South Africa Last update: 2020-11-27  

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Ministry of Finance

Budget 2005: Budget speech and commentaries

Ministry of Finance

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Budget Speech 2005 - 460Kb ~ 3 min (36 pages)

People's Budget 2005: Pre-Budget - 356Kb ~ 2 min (42 pages)

Idasa: Gender and Budget 2005 - 127Kb ~ 1 min (8 pages)


    Government’s commitment to gender equity is entrenched in the Constitution, in various pieces of legislation and policies that were developed during the first decade of democracy. Most recently this commitment was reiterated both by the President in his State of the Nation Address on 11 February 2005 and by the Minister of Finance in Budget 2005.

    However, what is gender equity all about, and more importantly, why is it of relevance to examining the government budget? It is relevant because we live in a society that has a history of providing more opportunities and access for men and boys than for women and girls. This is evident in the imbalance observed with regard to who is most vulnerable in the society e.g. those most vulnerable to HIV/Aids infection are female; those most vulnerable to poverty are female; those most vulnerable to lower paid employment and to unemployment are women. Within the South African context, these vulnerabilities are compounded by racial, class and geographical factors. Thus, when developing plans and programmes to address the imbalances within the society, a gender perspective provides a critical lens through which these layers of inequalities can be considered. Unless gender-sensitive plans and programmes have money allocated to them, it is not possible to implement them. Thus, budgets also need to be gender-sensitive.

    Looking for gender within the budget is not about separate budgets for women and men or girls and boys. It is about budgets that give critical consideration to the imbalances that exist in society and respond effectively to addressing these.

    Budget 2005 gives some consideration to tackling gender inequities. However, many interventions tend to be gender-blind i.e. interventions that benefit everyone, including women, will benefit women less than men and girls less than boys, as a result of the imbalances mentioned above. Thus a gender-blind policy/intervention becomes gender-insensitive. What is needed is a move away from gender-blind interventions to proactive gender-sensitive interventions. In order for this to happen, there has to be ongoing critical engagement with the impact of budget expenditures on vulnerable groups, both inside government and within civil society.

People’s Budget Campaign response to the 2005/2006 budget speech
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Basic Income Grant Coalition reacts to Manuel’s budget
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Get your facts and figures straight, Minister!
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