SABC News.com - AIDC to stage night vigil ahead of Budget speech:Tuesday 21 February 2012

AIDC to stage night vigil ahead of Budget speech

Tuesday 21 February 2012 19:40

Khensane Maranele

The Alternative Information Development Centre will stage a night vigil outside Parliament on the eve of Budget Day tomorrow. The organisation says the country needs a massive investment programme for decent housing, school buildings, health centres and local clinics meeting people’s needs for quality healthcare and education.

In a statement, the organisation says as the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan prepares to present the 2012 Budget Speech, he should remember that the wealth of all South Africa belongs to all.

"We dream about a South Africa of full employment, non-violence and equality for all women and men. We dream about a South Africa where everyone can afford quality healthcare. We dream about a South Africa with a government that takes the threat from climate change seriously and realizes that millions of new jobs are needed to protect our environment," the statement said.

Earlier in the day outside Parliament some civil organisations staged protests to raise the alarm on their dissatisfaction around numerous issues ahead of the ministers’ national budget tomorrow. Amongst them was the Equal Education.

Equal Education wants to see a big chunk of money pumped into the infrastructure of schools

The organization had a make-shift stage showing a puppet that told a story of promises by the Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga. Pupils were seated watching the proceedings while others held their placards – emulating a petition. One placard read: "Minimal norms and standards for education."

Head of policy, research and communication at Equal Education, Yoliswa Dwane says:  "We are picketing because we want the minister of finance to support the regulation for norms and standards of education. This is important because there is a huge backlog in this country on this issue and for many years this has not been addressed. The former president Thabo Mbeki said he was going to eradicate mud schools in the Eastern Cape but the promise has not been fulfilled."

Equal Education wants to see a big chunk of money pumped into the infrastructure of schools. They want to see libraries, laboratories and computer centres at schools. The group also wants to bridge the gap between ‘rich schools’ – referring to the private schools and government schools.
 
Minister Gordhan will present his Budget Speech in Parliament at 14:00 tomorrow. SABC radio stations and TV will carry the event live while digital news will stream the event live on www.sabc.co.za/news  

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