SADTU response to the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement

27 October 2009

SADTU congratulates Minister Pravin Gordhan on a robust MTBP Statement today, in very difficult economic conditions resulting from the international economic recession. In the light of falling revenues, we commend the Minister’s determination to continue to finance the five priorities of this government: creating jobs, enhancing the quality of education, improving health outcomes, rural development and fighting crime and corruption.

In particular, SADTU welcomes the following undertakings and commitments:

In relation to education:

  • The commitment to increase the education budget from R140 billion to R185 billion by 2012/13.
  • The call for a new blend of skills development and renewal of schools and colleges to address the economic crisis, and to provide a new deal for school leavers
  • Increasing the rate of participation in FET of young people aged 18-24 to 20% in the next 5 years; including a target of 350,000 apprenticeships and learnerships
  • The provision of supplementary learning materials to 5.5 million learners by 2012 aimed at improving literacy and numeracy in the foundation phase.
  • Increased funding for the primary school nutrition programme to reach 8.6 million learners by 2012.

In relation to job creation:

  • Continued public sector infrastructure investment; support for industries undergoing restructuring; encouragement of innovation; and reskilling of workers
  • Job creation programmes including public works programmes aimed at creating 4.5 million job opportunities over the next 5 years; and the training layoff scheme

In addition:

  • The extension of the child grant up to the age of 18 over the next three years
  • Budgeting for an additional 22,400 police personnel to fight crime
  • Increased funding for the HIV and Aids programme roll out

Together, these commitments represent a determined effort to use the resources available to deliver on the ANC’s manifesto priorities.

Issued by: SADTU Secretariat