Edu State is a SABC Digital News feature that focusses on the state of education in South Africa. In this episode, the spotlight is on the government’s expenditure on basic education.
March marks Human Rights Month in South Africa, a month to remember those who sacrificed their lives for the attainment of democracy and the rights that are enshrined in the Constitution. One of these rights is the right to education as stated in Section 29 of the Bill of Rights. Over the years, the government has been allocating the lion’s share of the country’s budget towards the fulfillment of this right and this year was no different.
In his Budget speech this year, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana announced that learning and culture will receive R441. 5 billion, with basic education receiving R282.8 billion.
Advocacy group Equal Education has been calling for more funds to be allocated to basic education.
The organisation’s researcher Jane Borman says, “Well, I think obviously with COVID-19, the budget in any sector, not just basic education, got completely blown out. So, it was hard to trust the trends, even to trust the projections that had come out.”
“You know, in October each year, projections for the next year come out and even that we weren’t necessarily sure that we could trust that. But what we actually ended up seeing is that for 2022, the funding for basic education has really improved compared to even what was predicted last year in October. So, obviously, we are very pleased because we have been advocating for increased basic education funding. “
SABC Digital News’ Lerato Matlala speaks to Equal Education’s Jane Borman on government’s expenditure on basic education: