The role of civic participation in the South African budgeting process

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    This research contextualizes public participation and participatory budgeting frameworks from a decentralized perspective. It provides an international perspective on public participation initiatives in the budgeting environment by analyzing selected indices and assessments in developed economies (the United Kingdom and New Zealand) and developing economies (Kenya and Tanzania) to determine the participatory framework in relation to the South African budgeting environment. From a budgeting perspective, focused public participation seems sensible. As a government’s primary economic policy tool, the budget has a twofold purpose: translating planned policy objectives and political commitments into reality based on the state of existing revenue and structuring income sources to raise additional revenue accordingly. The collection and distribution of funds to meet public needs remain a strategic responsibility of any government. This, however, can only succeed within the context of a proper policy framework that allows for credible policy choices and good governance. Good governance and budget transparency essentially sanction this, while public participation in a government’s budgeting framework fundamentally underscores good governance.