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Supplementary Comment On Budget 2021 And The Bill Of Rights


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Supplementary Comment On Budget 2021 And The Bill Of Rights

10th March 2021


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  • Supplementary Comment On Budget 2021 And The Bill Of Rights
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1. The FFC is concerned that government has not adequately considered the impact of Budget 2021 on the rights set out in South Africa’s constitution.

2. The Bill of Rights is “the cornerstone of democracy in South Africa” [s7(1)], and the state must “respect, protect, promote and fulfil” the rights contained therein [s7(2)]. The Bill of Rights is binding on the legislature and the executive. [s8(1)]


3. It states that:

• Everyone has a right to basic education [s29(1)a]


• No one can be refused emergency medical treatment [27(3)]

• Every child has the right to basic nutrition, shelter, basic health care services and social services [28(1)(c)]

4. In addition, section 27(2) requires that the state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realization of rights to-

• Healthcare services

• Sufficient food and water

• Social security

5. Since the adoption of the Constitution in 1996 there have been substantial gains in all these areas. Over the last decade or so the services established to ensure the provision of these rights have been under significant budget pressure. However, Budget 2021 is the first time since the adoption of the Constitution in which a budget tabled by the executive has unambiguously proposed a substantial reduction in the real value of allocations to public services that undergird these rights, a reduction that looks set to continue for several years into the future.

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