The data used to generate this chart was taken from the South African government. 

This image contains four different doughnut charts generated by reliable data showing South Africa’s budget breakdown by percentage for the years 1994/95, 2019/20, 2020/21 and 2021/22.

What does the data tell us?

Among other things, we see that in the 1994/95 budget 44.8% of the budget was allocated for social causes whereas in the 2019/20 budget 58.78% was given to social causes. We also see that in 2020/21 16.4% of the budget went towards general public services and state debt and in the 2021/22 budget, 11.91% has been given to economic and environmental issues. This chart appears to show a shift in either the government’s budget agenda or in its response to certain factors. This change is most obviously seen by comparing the years 1994/95 and 2019-2023. We see how the 2021/21 budget ranks the highest for social initiatives, but the lowest for general public services and state debt. Compare this to the 1994/95 budget which ranks the lowest for social causes and the highest for general public services and state debt as well as defence and safety.

What do we do with this information?

Firstly, it is important to know that a budget remains a budget until money gets spent or wasted. Therefore our focus should be on holding all levels of government accountable for the mismanagement of state funds and not worrying about the budget breakdown. However having said this, it is important that we, the citizens of South Africa, keep a close watch on where our funds are being allocated. One concerning trend is the allocation fewer funds to defence and safety. Perhaps now is the time for our communities to stand up and fill that gap, making South Africa safer for all.