Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

When is the budget data updated?

Budget data on Vulekamali is updated shortly after it’s made available by National Treasury. A new budget is produced by government and added to the portal every financial year.

Do you have municipal budget information?

The Vulekamali portal focuses on national and provincial budget information. For municipal budgets, please visit MunicipalMoney.gov.za.

The data I need is not on the site, will you be adding additional data and resources?

The development of Vulekamali is ongoing and additional data and resources are still being added to the site. Read more about the project timelines to learn about what types of datasets will be added, and when. Please tell us about the data you’re looking for by emailing us at feedback@vulekamali.gov.za  

I have an idea for the budget. Who should I send it to?

You can send your budget ideas to the Minister of Finance using the Budget Tips form.

How does the search function work?

The search box helps you to find budgets and datasets you may be interested in. When you use the search box, we’ll try to find the most applicable budgets for your search terms. We use budget datasets and documents to help guide the results, not just department names. We do our best, but can’t always find the best budget for you. If you’re unable to find what you’re looking for please email us at feedback@vulekamali.gov.za and let us know.

How can a data journalist use vulekamali?

A journalist will find vulekamali valuable as they can download data to analyse and gather evidence for the story they want to run. You could find data on vulekamali pertaining to a specific sector your writing about. Each Department page has a dataset which aligns to the various budget programmes budget has been allocated. (National or Provincial Department). Alternatively, find all data at https://data.vulekamali.gov.za/

How can a data scientist use vulekamali?

For a data scientist, keen on big-budget data, which is available on vulekamali, there are many areas he/she can explore and determine findings. Data like National and Provincial infrastructure investment, Department budgets to name but a few, are available historically until current. As a data scientist, vulekamali has all National and Provincial Budgets.

How can the CSO leader use vulekamali?

A CSO leader wishing to determine National and Provincial budget spending on a particular area they are focused on will be able to find this data on vulekamali. E.g. A CSO leader of an Old Age organisation could find the 2019/2020 budget allocation for the programme "Old Age" on the Department of Social Development page.

How can Civil Society budget analysts, economist, and researchers use vulekamali?

You can use the platform to familiarise yourself with government budget concepts, Spheres of government and how funds are allocated. The names of departments/voted programmes and economic classification are also available.  Moreover, you could find important budget information in relation to a particular policy matter you're working on and use the portal to gather this evidence. Similarly, the economist an analyst could find specific budget data related to their area of focus. Whether this is socio-economic, infrastructure, health, education, sports, many of these focus areas align to National and Provincial Budgets

What budget documents do vulekamali not provide?

Department Annual Reports, Annual Performance Plans, Conditional Grant Business Plans which should be published on Department websites. You can find the link to the Department website on vulekamali Department pages

Why does the information go back to 2016?

Vulekamali makes available historical data to provide the user with some content on a particular Department's budget spending. Each Department page allows you to select years as far back as 2016. You could find further historical on the National Treasury website http://www.treasury.gov.za/documents/national%20budget/default.aspx

How to request features on vulekamali

 If you have a particular idea or feature request, you may email feedback@vulekamali.gov.za 

How to upload datasets?

If you have a dataset you wish to be made available on vulekamali, you will need to follow the instructions as outlined here: https://vulekamali.gov.za/datasets/contributed. You need to register your organisation by following the instructions, thereafter a verification process will occur and you will be notified, you are allowed to upload your data.

What learning material is available on vulekamali?

On the homepage, you should be able to see the learning tab. Clicking on this will take you to the learning page. There are 6 educational videos on this page. We recommend you pick the videos that relate to what you'd like to do on the portal. This will give you a good overview of the portal and the available information you can access.

What is a financial year?

A financial year is an organisation’s accounting period of 12 consecutive months, at the end of which the accounting books or records for that period are closed. The financial year is used as a basis for planning, budgeting, measuring financial performance and financial reporting.

The financial year for all South African National & Provincial Departments run from 1 April to 31 March of the following year.

How to appropriately report inaccuracies on vulekamali

(1) Most problem reports are related to a specific page or pages on a website, so the first thing to do is tell us which page you're talking about. Taking a screenshot is always helpful.
When you visit a web page, the URL (address) of the page is shown in your browser's address bar. Copy the URL of any relevant pages you have trouble with and paste them into your problem report.

(2) Use detail: When describing the problem, start at the beginning and explain each and every single step you are taking, and describe in intricate detail what goes wrong or what is wrong.

(3) Include Error Messages: Copy and paste any error messages into your problem report so that we can read them.

(4) If you have it, share information about the accurate data.

You can report this using the green “feedback tag” on the right of each web page or alternatively you could email feedback@vulekamali.gov.za

How do I correctly reference information/data from vulekamali

You can cite vulekamali.gov.za as a website using your preferred referencing style.

How do we monitor user traffic & behaviour on vulekamali?

Google Analytics is a web analytics service offered by Google that tracks and reports how users use the portal, better known as, “website traffic”. This data is used in order to improve the portal. The data is used anonymously.

About search rules

Quotation marks"" - help you find exact phrases. - minus - to exclude a term from the search. * can be used as a placeholder if you don't know the exact phrase. Eg, Annual * Report. filetype: pdf

Fair use policy

The portal publishes easily accessible data in a user-friendly format, to enable more effective information sharing, analyses and research. The portal supports involvement by civil society and the public in the budget process and enable citizens to have informed discussions in different government policy areas.

Why is the government sharing this data?

In the 2017 Open Budget Index (OBI), South Africa came 1st out of 115 countries, sharing this position with New Zealand. National Treasury already publishes extensive budgetary information on its website, however it has been observed over time that the use of this data is not as extensive as it could be. Furthermore, the OBI report shows that South Africa can improve on public participation. The portal will therefore publish easily accessible data in a user-friendly format, to enable more effective information sharing, analyses and research.

What are my responsibilities as a citizen?

As a citizen, it is important that you participate in the budget process. This video: https://youtu.be/UdahlP28-ok explains how you can participate.

What does it mean when something is listed as ‘Not Available’ or a bar is missing from the chart?

When something is listed as ‘Not Available’, one or more of the things needed to show the chart/bar for that date was missing. This usually happens when the relevant department has not submitted the data to the National Treasury in an acceptable form in time. It might have been submitted late and will be available in the next quarter or later in that financial year. It might also be available directly from the specific Department, but without the vetting done by National Treasury before inclusion in their database.


 

About Vulekamali’s APIs

All data and resources on the vulekamali data portal are also available using the vulekamali datastore and API. You can explore and download all the datasets and resources from one place, or use the API to work with them in your favourite programming language. This datastore is built on the popular open-source CKAN software, for which there are client libraries for many popular programming languages such as R, JavaScript, Python, Ruby, PHP and Java.

About Vulekamali’s limits - in data analysis, information provided, granularity of data

Data and documentation that is submitted or held by National Treasury can be made available on Vulekamali (through an approval & verification process). Data belonging to a specific National or Provincial Department, even if it is budget information, will require the approval for release of this information by the custodian.