Parliament, reject the unconstitutional 2021 budget!
Over 200 social movements, trade unions, civil society organisations and individuals call on Parliament to reject the 2021 Budget and uphold human rights.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – 10 March 2021
More than 200 civil society organisations, trade unions, social movements and concerned individuals have added their voices to a growing call for Parliament to reject the budget tabled by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on 24 February 2021. Our open letter is endorsed by progressive organisations representing more than 1.5million people, including trade unions and union federations representing hundreds of thousands of workers in a number of important South African industries, as well as social movements from poor and working class communities across the country.
We believe that this budget is unconstitutional, and in our open letter to members of parliament, we have demanded that our elected representatives overturn the budget.
The call for Parliamentarians to use their constitutional powers to return the budget to National Treasury and require it to meet its socio-economic rights obligations to the people, is not taken lightly. This demand is made because of the scale of the attack the 2021 budget makes on public services delivered by government, which will negatively impact the majority of people in the country.
The 2021 Budget tabled by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on behalf of the Executive directly attacks socio-economic rights enshrined in the Constitution with severe funding cuts to health, social grants, basic education and other public spending totalling -R265 billion over the next three years.:
These cuts come at a time of immense hardship for many as the economy faces its worst downturn in 75 years, with poverty, unemployment and inequality reaching record levels.
A Joint Sitting of the National Council of Provinces and National Assembly Standing Committees on Finance meets on 9 and 10 March 2021 to debate its report on the fiscal framework proposed in the budget. This is the first Committee in Parliament to make recommendations on the budget. The Committee may recommend the adoption, amendment or the rejection of the fiscal framework, which reflects the overall spending, revenue and borrowing plans.
We say that this is an austerity fiscal framework that lays the burden of “fiscal consolidation” firmly on the backs of the poor and working classes, attacking our Constitutional rights while handing out tax breaks to corporates and high income earners – and therefore must be rejected.
The attached Open Letter to Parliament, endorsed by trade unions, civil society organisations and grassroots collectives around the country, calls on MPs to send the budget back to the National Treasury and require it to meet its socio-economic rights obligations and consider alternative ways of managing our public debt.
For media enquiries contact:
- Julia Chaskalson (0834402674 / firstname.lastname@example.org)
The open letter is endorsed by over 200 signatories including trade unions, social movements, NGOs and 125 individuals. If you would like to sign as an organisation or individual, click here: your signature will be added to the list. The full list which continues to be updated can be accessed here.
|Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU)|
|Commercial, Stevedoring, Agricultural and Allied Workers Union (CSAAWU)|
|Democratic Municipal and Allied Workers Union (DEMAWUSA)|
|Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU)|
|National Health, Education and Allied Workers Union (NEHAWU)|
|National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (NUPSAW)|
|Public Allied Workers Union of South Africa (PAWUSA)|
|Public Services International (PSI)|
|South African Domestic Services and Allied Workers Union (SADSAWU)|
|South African Municipal Workers Union (SAMWU)|
|South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU)|
|#PayTheGrants||Johannesburg Informal Traders Platform|
|Abahlali base Freedom Park||KeepLeft|
|Abahlali baseMjondolo||Land Rights Organisation of South Africa|
|African Water Commons Collective||Makause Community Development Forum|
|Alrapark and Mckenziville Housing Committee||Marikana Youth Development Organisation|
|Amadiba Crisis Committee||Ntinga Ntaba kaNdoda|
|Amandla Port Elizabeth Forum||Progressive Organisations Forum (POF)|
|Assembly of the Unemployed||Primrose Back Yard Dwellers Forum|
|Back2Work Campaign||Right2Know Campaign|
|Black Consciousness Movement United||Robertsham Tenants Association|
|Botshabelo Unemployed Movement||Rural Women Assembly South Africa|
|Brinville Unemployment Forum||SANCOYO|
|C19 People’s Coalition||Sandvlei united community organization|
|Concerned Community of Alexandra||Sisonke Revolutionary Movement|
|Eastern Cape Water Caucus||Socialism from Below|
|Equal Education||South African Green Revolutionary Council|
|Extinction Rebellion||Tenants association of Robertsham|
|Fight Inequality Alliance Gauteng||The Social Process NPC|
|Fight Inequality Alliance South Africa||Unemployed People’s Movement|
|Free State Rural Women Assembly||United Front|
|Gauteng Housing Crisis Committee||Waterberg Women Advocacy Organization|
|Housing Assembly||Westside Park Community Crisis Committee|
|Inyanda National Land Movement|
|CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS|
|350Africa.org||Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group|
|Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC)||Polisee Space|
|Black Sash||Rural Health Advocacy Project|
|Centre for Child Law||Sàm Soya Centre for Democracy and Human Rights (SSCDHR)|
|Children’s Resource centre||Section27|
|Co-operative and Policy Alternative Centre (COPAC)||Siyakhanyisa HIV/AIDS Support Group|
|Equal Education Law Centre||South African Youth Business Forum|
|Ficksburg Community Advice Office||Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute (SAFCEI)|
|Firstsource Money||Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute (SPII)|
|groundWork||The Rock of Hope|
|Institute for Economic Justice (IEJ)||Trade & Industrial Policies Strategies (TIPS)|
|International Labour Research and Information Group (ILRIG)||Trust for Community Outreach and Education (TCOE)|
|Masithobelane Support group||Tshebedisano Support Network|
|National Labour and Economic Development Institute (NALEDI)||Western Cape Forum for Intellectual Disability|
|Open Secrets||Women on Farms Project|
|People’s Health Movement South Africa||Workers World Media Productions|