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Civil society presents 'people's budget'

The group says the country's national budget should be based on a pro-poor agenda.

Non-governmental organisations reveal People’s budget outside Parliament on 25 February 2014. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN

CAPE TOWN - A group of civil society organisations, activists and organised labour have come together to deliver what they call the "people's budget".

It comes a day before Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan delivers his Budget Speech in Parliament.

The group says the country's national budget should be based on a pro-poor agenda.

Activists called for money to be spent to areas where the poor communities will benefit.

The Treatment Action Campaign's Anele Yawa says, "For the past 20 years we have been presented with a financial budget that does not speak to the needs of the people on the ground. That's why you see a spike in service delivery protests."

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) released its alternative budget in Parliament on Monday.

The opposition is hoping the state will cut spending on advertising, consultants and other areas.

Gordhan's challenge this year will be to reduce the budget deficit.

DA finance spokesperson Tim Harris says the minister must take steps to cut state spending.

"Beyond the ministerial perks, we have to see deeper cuts in areas like advertising, consultants, venues and catering. I think when you look at what the DA has managed to do in the Western Cape, we brought down spending on those items by anywhere between 30 and 50 percent in the first year that we came into power."