Zero-based budgeting is a lost cause
Tweaking the budget isn’t the answer, writes Gumani Tshimomola, creating an efficient and corruption-free state is
Last week, during a debate on the Appropriation Bill in parliament, finance minister Tito Mboweni said he would suggest to his cabinet colleagues that SA move to zero-based budgeting (ZBB). However, such a move in the absence of a functional state is a meaningless exercise. If anything, this will allow Mboweni to fend off the pressure against his austerity budgets coming from civil society, political parties and academia.
Mboweni will not be the first finance minister to run to ZBB in time of financial distress. William Watson recently reminded us of how Canadian finance minister Paul Martin presented a zero-based budget in February 1995 when the country had its back to the wall. Many have come to associate that budget speech by Martin as the most consequential in Canadian history. ..