Imali Yethu: Our Money

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. We are committed to exploring co-creation to achieve open, accountable governance.  Our work is inspired by the standards of co-creation and participation envisioned by the Open Government Partnership (OGP) that state;

“Public participation is based on the belief that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process”

We believe the same is true of decision making within the budget process.

The Coalition is representative of a unique group of civic actors. 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.

In 2017, the organisation OpenUp were contracted by the National Treasury to develop an online budget data portal. The portal – later named vulekamali through a process that involved hundreds of South Africans was intentionally designed using an agile approach. Through extensive consultation with and input from the public  – one of the core objectives of vulekamli is to ensure user friendly, credible and accessible budget and planning data.

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!

Our main objectives are to:

  • Promote open and accountable governance through support for South Africa’s commitments in the Open Government Partnership
  • Promote an equitable and development orientated allocation of public resource
  • Promote meaningful participation in budget prioritisation by marginalised communities
  • Contribute to the iterative development and sustainability of the online budget portal www.vulekamali.gov.za by facilitating and coordinating inputs from civil society during the development of the portal and prioritising input from marginalised groups 

 

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!

Vulekamali presents a unique opportunity for co-creation between civic organisations and the National Treasury to enhance budget participation in South Africa

5 thoughts on “Imali Yethu: Our Money”

  1. Max Sisulu developed National Speakers “Oversight Model” including “Oversight” by Civil Society, ISIZIBA Constituency had such Model and ready to implement it at Municipality, Provincial and National Speaker’s Civil Society Coordination Office, we encourage that such Model be implemented to leverage Budget Accountability

    1. This is a great suggestion – thank you – we will forward it to the rest of vulekamali team for discussion. Oversight institutions are an integral component to be sure!

  2. This is powerful, I heard about it from TV news on Budget Speech. I was so taken up by the fact that there are people that came together for our country, this will bring change in our country with the help from God.
    I wish to join the movement if may call it like that, but I am grown up woman. I am interested in empowerment especially empowering ordinary citizens. I am in a new organization called Rise Up With Advocacy and Action looking at Rights and Governance. I like the concept of Vuleka Mali.

    1. Hi Nolubabalo! Thank you so much for the encouragement and positive feedback. We would love for to join us. Please send an email to our coordinator Zukiswa on [email protected] and let’s set up further discussions. We’re also very serious about engaging people from all corners of the country of varying backgrounds!

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