ANC pins hopes on 'elections Budget'

2012-08-05 15:00

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - The ANC wants to use next year’s Budget to boost its image ahead of the national elections in 2014.

In a move that’s caused unease both within and outside the party, ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe has said in a party document that the 2013/14 budget would be an “elections budget”.

His statement has left some ­worried that the party could be pushing those in charge of the ­government purse strings to adjust spending in a way that would ­unfairly boost the ANC’s image.

In his scene-setting report to last week’s lekgotla of ANC national executive committee (NEC) members and government leaders, Mantashe wrote: “Ministries should also remember that the budget of 2013/14 is an elections budget. This requires a serious step change with regards to ­implementation.”

The ANC is under pressure after its support in the 2009 general elections dropped by 3.8% from the five years before to 65.9%.

President Jacob Zuma, whose leadership could be challenged at the party’s December elective ­conference, also needs to silence critics who fear that the party’s share of the vote will drop even ­further under his rule.

The party needs to clean up its image amid service delivery failures in municipalities countrywide and repeated failures to deliver school textbooks in Limpopo.

Misinterpreted


Two NEC members who attended the meeting, one an MP and one a provincial government leader, said some in the meeting were ­concerned Mantashe’s words might be misinterpreted.

The provincial leader said: “It should happen every year that we deliver on programmes.”

But Mantashe told City Press there was nothing untoward about preparing an “elections budget”.

“It is very significant because it is the last before the election,” he said.

“In the first two years you should be finding your feet, and in years three to five you should be up and running, and implementing.”

Asked whether an “elections budget” redirected money to welfare programmes, he said: “You can’t spend more money than you have, and you can’t redirect money.”

He said government spending was dictated by health, education, jobs, rural development and safety programmes, as the ANC had promised voters in 2009.

Treasury spokesperson Jabulani Sikhakane defended Mantashe, saying his report referred to the “implementation of budgets, not additional allocations of money in an election year”.

Priorities

Sikhakane said the Treasury’s three-year rolling budget plans were guided by Cabinet’s policy priorities.

“The 2012 medium-term expenditure framework published in February takes us through the 2014 elections.”

He admitted there could be changes to the budget, but “they would be marginal given the tight fiscal space we are currently ­experiencing”.

DA spokesperson on finance Tim Harris said although the Treasury had so far been fairly immune to party political pressure, he was concerned the ANC used phrases like “elections budget”.

“The budget should respond to the needs of the people regardless of where you are in an electoral ­cycle,” Harris said.

Ebrahim Fakir, head of governance at the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa, said some countries had “populist” budgets that could be tailored around elections, but fiscal discipline was too tight here.

“You will have minor tweaks [to the budget], but nothing dramatic, not a 20% shift to welfare, for ­instance,” he said.

According to a report submitted to the lekgotla, R66.6bn is needed to reverse the schools ­infrastructure backlog. Another R20bn is needed for maintenance and repairs.

The party has also drawn up a ­national plan to shake up ­municipal services.

Read more on:    anc  |  tim harris  |  gwede mantashe  |  jacob zuma  |  government spending  |  elections 2014  |  textbook saga  |  mangaung 2012
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
55 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.