Democracy and Public Spending

You are warmly invited to the fourth debate in the Idasa series

“Building Democratic Societies”:

Democracy and Public Spending: Where have we been and where are we going?

Democratic South Africa inherited a range of social and economic challenges, many of which needed to be addressed through efficient and effective public spending. The budget system itself also needed to be reformed to make it more transparent, accountable and participatory.

Though much has been achieved, poverty and inequality remain at unacceptably high levels and the evidence suggests that inequality has increased in the democratic era. Service delivery protests and opinion polls suggest growing frustration, whilst poor audit results suggest that many government departments lack the basic capability to enhance the wellbeing of citizens.

These challenges have only intensified in the wake of the global financial crisis and the South African recession. Has public spending under democracy done enough for all South Africans? Do we need a paradigm shift in budget policy or do we need to the same things better? Will our hard-earned democracy come under serious threat if current levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality remain? Have we done enough to soften the impact of the recession? Is there enough space for citizens and legislatures to
contribute to policy and hold departments to account for what they do?

If you have strong views on these issues, please join us and participate in the fourth installment of our Building Democratic Societies debate series.


  • Raenette Taljaard, Independent Analyst and Adjunct Senior Lecturer (Public Policy), UCT
  • Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen, Independent Public Policy Analyst

Date: Tuesday 20 July 2010

Time: 5.30pm for 6.00pm

Place: IDASA, 6 Spin street Cape Town

RSVP: Tanya Shanker:

Seating is limited and on a first come, first served basis

Parking options:
Street parking in the area is safe and will cost you R3.50 per hour.
Parking garages open to the public in the area include:

  • Plein Park (Plein Street; to get to the entrance, turn off Plein Street into Barrack Street and then into Corporation Street).
  • Mandela Rhodes Place (entrance in Burg Street, off Wale Street)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: