The South African Constitution provides the legal framework for the provision of public services in response to public needs. The government budget is a policy document that tells of policy areas that have been prioritized through budget allocations. The budget links the constitutional responsibilities of the state to the actual implementation of priority policies and human rights. As stipulated in the South African Constitution and the National Development Plan (NDP), health is one of the priority areas to be addressed, requiring government resources and effort. The scourge of HIV/AIDS and TB has made addressing health issues more complicated, with increased demands for larger HIV and AIDS budgets and improved capacity to spend. To improve the health status of citizens and the quality of health care they receive, the government should allocate sufficient resources so that human and systems capacity is built to absorb the money, ensuring appropriate quality services and reporting.
There are commendable developments in health policy, HIV and AIDS programming and resource allocation in South Africa. However, major efforts are needed to ensure that there is impact for every cent that is spent, to maximise community benefits in the utilisation of public finances.Below is a brief overview of the South African economy, with a detailed analysis of the national health and HIV and AIDS budgets. This analysis excludes provincial budget allocations and/or spending, and thus gives a snapshot of HIV and AIDS allocations in the health sector at the national level.