Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Jeff Radebe says a Mandate Paper, developed to facilitate budget reprioritisation, will be used in this year’s budgeting process to align spending to government priorities.
The Mandate Paper was developed after the National Planning Commission recommended the intervention with the aim of guiding budget allocations and determining priority spending areas.
The Minister said at its August 2016 meeting Cabinet identified the need to strengthen the alignment of the budget, the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) and the National Development Plan (NDP).
“The [department] was instructed to develop on an annual basis the Mandate Paper to guide the budget process for 2018 to ensure focused implementation of government’s plans.
“In that year, the Mandate Paper of 2017 identified the priorities of higher education, social security and job creation.
“This ANC-led government on the 16th of August 2017 concluded an important step in the furtherance of the objectives of the NDP through our budget reform programme.
“This is the approval of the Mandate Paper for 2018, which serves as the Budget Prioritisation Framework,” he said.
He said some of the budget priorities for 2018 include job creation and small development, youth development, infrastructure expansion and maintenance, land reform, smallholder farmer and agriculture development, comprehensive social security, education and skills, among others.
The need for the corrective and structural intervention such as the Mandate Paper is to enhance the precision and targeting of budget allocation to NDP objectives through the identification of a set of priorities annually.
The priorities, the Minister said, should reflect the objective assessment and conditions at the time.
“The Mandate Paper therefore allows the MTEF Budget to be much more agile and response instruments of resource allocation to deal with both parameters of the expenditure and revenue generation.”
The Minister said the Mandate Paper will be an addition to government’s planning tools to ensure effective prioritisation and ensure that resource allocation supports the implementation of the NDP within the prevailing socio-economic context and fiscal framework.
“The Mandate Paper process precedes and guides the budget process. The budget process will continue to be managed by the National Treasury in terms of the Public Finance Management Act.
“Next year and in the future the Mandate Paper will be completed earlier in the planning cycle by the end of April each year to guide all state institutions in developing their budget proposals for the following financial year,” he said.
The Mandate Paper will, among other things, also identify areas that are highlighted by the data that gets released by Statistics South Africa, particularly the indicators of the drivers of poverty like unemployment and education.
“Similarly, the Mandate Paper had already identified the priority of the agriculture sector, as had the Nine-Point Plan.
“This decision has been supported by the recent economic growth GDP figures of 2.5%, for the first quarter of 2018/ 19, taking our South African economy out of a technical recession, but more importantly, that this growth has been agriculture sector-led, which was already identified as a Budget 2018 priority,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Minister said on 12 September the department would commemorate the fifth anniversary of the adoption of the NDP. This will be followed by the NDP annual lecture on 15 September and the launch of the NDP school competition on 23 September, where young people will be invited to define their ideal South Africa for 2030.
Then, on 24 September, the NDP Joburg City Race will happen. Deputy Minister Buti Manamela, who has run for several causes before, is expected to participate.
On 28 September the department will officially launch the NDP Brand Ambassador Programme under the theme “Investing in local innovators and entrepreneurs that will ultimately create millions of jobs that we need to grow the inclusive economy”.