Open Budgets For What? For Who?

IMALI YETHU is a coalition of civil society organisations working with the South African National Treasury to make budget information more accessible, user-friendly and empowering.

As a coalition – IMALI YETHU certainly represents a unique group. Our Secretariat is currently comprised of a diverse range of  South African organisations; the accountability ‘watchdog’ types (the Public Service Accountability Monitor), the accountability ‘civic-tech’ types (MobiSAM), the public interest ‘legal-eagle’ types (Equal Education Law Centre and Section 27), the ‘democracy builder’ types (Open Democracy Advice Centre), the edgy, radical activists (R2K and Social Justice Coalition) and the ‘research think-tank’ types; (Studies in Poverty and Inequality  Institute). Our adventure has just begun and we’re eager to grow.

The organisation OpenUp have been contracted by National Treasury to develop the Open Budget Portal now named VULEKAMALI using an agile approach that involves extensive consultation with the public to ensure the Portal is user friendly and accessible.
So what’s the fundamental thread that connects us? It’s a deep conviction that open, transparent public budget processes and meaningful public participation are integral components of any democratic society. We aren’t interested in transparency for transparency’s sake. We aren’t interested in participation for participation’s sake. We’re invested in ensuring that fiscal transparency and public participation contributes to the social change we are working towards. What connects us? Consider any single social justice problem faced by the majority of South Africans today and there your answer is! So join us. Join the IMALI YETHU network and contribute to making this online budget portal everything it should be. Come along on this adventure!