National Budget 2005/2006 Analysis: SA Women’s Budget Initiative briefing

Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report


16 September 2005

Ms M R Morutoa (ANC)

Documents handed out:
SA Women’s Budget Initiative briefing
Official Minutes from Parliament

South Africa’s Women’s Budget Initiative briefed the Committee on the objectives and urgency of a gender responsive budget. Members first brainstormed popular concepts in the gender debate and participated in a short workshop, analysing the 2004 and 2005 Department of Justice and Constitutional Development’s budgets for Court Services, the National Prosecuting Authority, as well as for Auxiliary and Associated Services.

Members agreed that there was a need for more clarity regarding the amount of money allocated to, and spent on, domestic violence and child maintenance.

Members then adopted the Committee’s Annual Report (January – September 2005) as well as its draft report on the hearing submissions by various National and Provincial Gender Machinery structures on 21 November 2003.


South Africa’s Women’s Budget Initiative briefing
Ms Debbie Budlender, a specialist researcher with the Community Agency for Social Enquiry (CASE) and co-ordinator of South Africa’s Women’s Budget Initiative, briefed the Committee on the objectives and urgency of having a gender responsive budget.

The Members first broke into groups to brainstorm the following concepts: sex and gender, gender division of labour, feminism, equality and equity, practical versus strategic gender needs, gender mainstreaming as well as gender neutrality, sensitivity and blindness

Ms Budlender then explained that while ‘sex’ referred to biological differences that were difficult to change, ‘gender’ referred to those differences that could easily be changed, since gender identity was determined by society. Policies could either respond to gender stereotypes and traditional gender roles, or they could attempt to change them.

Ms Budlender emphasised that a gender-sensitive budget was not merely about equality but about equity. Such budgets were not separate budgets for men and women, but brought gender awareness into the policies and budgets of all departments. A gender budget combined technical knowledge for equitable policymaking, with advocacy and engagement with powerful interests and institutions.

A gender responsive budget would, among other benefits, improve efficiency by ensuring that expenditure benefited those who needed it the most. It would assist in tracking implementation and reducing corruption while improving transparency and accountability.

Gender budget analysis was usually divided into three categories. The first category considered whether government departments had clearly targeted gender-based expenditures (such as special education initiatives for girls). The second category focused on whether there was equal employment opportunity expenditure on government employees (such as the provision of crèche facilities), while the third category judged mainstream budget expenditure on its impact on both male and female adults and children.

A gendered analysis described the situation of these groups and assessed whether policies could address their situations. Thirdly it ascertained whether a budget had been allocated to implement gender-sensitive policies and, if so, whether it had been spent as planned. Lastly, it examined whether the policy and expenditure promoted gender equity.

Groupwork on Department of Justice and Constitutional Development budget
The Committee then broke into three groups to analyse and compare the budgets for court services and auxiliary and associated services. The considered improvements they would like to see in the allocation of budgets.

Members found that in 2004, the Department had made broad statements regarding their plans and budgets to address issues affecting women. In 2005, it had included more specifics and figures. This was an improvement that they would like the Department to follow up on.

The reports gave no clarity on the types of cases that had been handled by the magistrates’ courts. While courts had worked overtime in 2004 to speed up the backlog, this had stopped in 2005. The report was not clear on why Saturday court sessions had been stopped.

The Auxiliary and Associated budget was also not clearly defined along gender lines. It gave no clear indication of how much of the budget allocated to the Legal Aid Board had been spent on women. Ms Budlender pointed out that generally the Auxiliary and Associated budget programmes included many services but functioned on a shoestring budget. Violence against women (domestic violence in particular) and the protection of children (especially laws governing the allocation of maintenance) were the two issues for which the department should have a clearly defined budget.

The Members felt that clearly greater disaggregation along gender lines was necessary to ascertain whether department budgets were gender-sensitive. It was of vital importance that departments gave specifics regarding how their budget would be spent.

Members agreed that they should further consider whether such these issues had been addressed in their reports on studytour visits and their oversight of department annual reports.

Committee Reports and Clerk’s Minutes
Members adopted the Committee’s Annual Report (January – September 2005) as well as its Draft report on the hearing submissions by various National and Provincial Gender Machinery structures on 21 November 2003.

Members also adopted all the Committee Clerk’s minutes for 2005 without discussion.


No related


No related documents


  • We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting

Download as PDF

You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.

See detailed instructions for your browser here.

Share this page: