National Treasury launches online budget data portal

In collaboration with Imali Yethu – a coalition of budget transparency and participation advocacy organisations – the National Treasury launched an online budget portal Vulekamali on Tuesday in Cape Town.

The portal is intended to make the budget more accessible through a user-friendly format to enable more effective information sharing, analysis and research.

READ MORE: No reshuffle expected before budget by finance ministry

Globally, South Africa’s budget process is ranked number one out of 115 countries, sharing the position with New Zealand, according to the latest Open Budget Index (OBI).

Treasury has been working on ways to make budget information more accessible to the public, Kay Brown chief director of budget planning at treasury said. “We have been feeling we have information but is not used enough and the public could use this information better”.

Named by a South African citizen who entered a competition last year, the website contains all 48 government departments mandates, roles and budgets as published in the estimates of national expenditure document which sets out the detailed spending plans of each government for the coming year.

The site further outlines what how much each programme by department is allocated in a particular financial year period. The 2018/19 budget will be added tomorrow.

The Vulekamali website, sporting a quirky logo, is coded in black, green and orange. It has a user-friendly homepage and allows visitors to add their own contributions. There is a search function and its language choices include isiZulu, Sesotho, English and Afrikaans.

Thulebona Mhlanga
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