Budget Monitoring and Control in South African Township Schools Democratic Governance at Risk
EDUCATIONAL MANAGEMENT ADMINISTRATION & LEADERSHIP
University of Johannesburg
This article investigates budget monitoring and control in township schools in South Africa. The enactment of the Schools Act 1996 revolutionized school financial management in South Africa, making it part of the drive for democratic school governance. School governing bodies had to be established, whose responsibility it became to manage finances at school. Schools were allowed to raise funds over and above the departmental allocations, which to township schools were increased in order to redress past imbalances. However, most of these school governors lacked the necessary financial knowledge, skills and competencies required to effectively manage large sums of cash, and as a result many schools experienced financial difficulty. This study investigated the way in which a group of township schools in South Africa monitor and control their budgets. The findings revealed that the level of education plays a significant role in the way in which budget monitoring and control is perceived. It was concluded that, if applied conscientiously, the schools can remain liquid in terms of cash flow and operate within the confines of the approved budget.