Budgeting as a political process: a case study of Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality
Seope, Odirile Edwin
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The reason for studying budgeting as a political process is to appraise various theoretical methods for addressing matters of human rights, entitlements, political accountability and community participation in relation to the budget process; as well as to establish the relationship between the political deployment and their effect on the budget process. This research focuses mostly in the processes embarked on during the budget preparation process in the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality and will deliberate this process from initiation until acceptance, as well as approval of the budget with more focus on regulations and legislative requirements. The review of the budget preparation process of the District Municipality was to determine the impact of legislation on the entire budget process and compliance with the legislative requirements. Key findings in the case study were that the budget allocation was not related to its own strategic priorities and operational plans and the municipal staff members had limited academic qualifications to perform its key actions. Provincial government contribution in the municipal budget cycle is inadequate, bring about a lack of configuration of government priorities and a minimal use of resources. Grants and subsidies are not confirmed in advance so that this funding can be budgeted for as prescribed in the Municipal Finance Management Act, 56 of 2003. These findings lead to the recommendation for management to be involved in the process of municipal budgeting and that monitoring is crucial. The approved strategic and operational plan must lead the budgeting process. All MFMA circulars from national and provincial treasury are similarly essential in giving direction and update of the modern changes concerning budget preparation process. The recommendation is that these circulars be taken into consideration during budget compilation; and that they are obeyed to not only in terms of direction, but to ensure that budget formats and reporting requirements are met.