The Centre for Civil Society based within the School of Built Environment and Development Studies invites you to the seminar Can the SA Budget afford #FeesMustFall Demands and other Social Spending? by Patrick Bond.
Date: Tuesday 23 February 2016
Time: 12h30 – 14h00
Venue: CCS Seminar Room 602, 6th Floor, MTB Tower, Howard College, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Wednesday’s 2016 Budget is generally anticipated to be an opportunity for Standard & Poors, Fitch, Moody and the financial markets to demand major concessions from South African society, including from university students who in 2015 demanded that #FeesMustFall and who thought they had won after they protested at the last Budget Speech on October 21, and then at Luthuli House and Union Buildings the next two days. But Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan is being squeezed by financiers to cut the budget deficit from its 2016-17 target of 3.3%, and economists have lobbied for lower social grants and a reduction in labour-protecting regulations and exchange controls. Under this pressure, will R35 billion become available so universities can meet student and worker demands? And what about hundreds of billions of rands worth of nuclear energy, coal rail lines, dig-out ports, BRICS New Development Bank start-up capital, the 2022 Commonwealth Games preparations and other mega-projects that are allegedly in the state’s funding pipeline? What is the potential shift in the balance of forces required to counteract the power of credit ratings agencies, so the SA state can fund an expansive, job-creating, welfare-sharing, smart-asset-investing economy?
Patrick Bond is CCS Director and also a professor of political economy at Wits University. He authored Elite Transition and a dozen other books about South Africa and the world economy.