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Pre-Budget Consultations 2018

Civil Society Contribution


ABSTRACT

The 22 organisations listed above sent one representative at a working session at this Rose-Hill’s Civil
Society Consultations of May 8th, 2018 in line with the upcoming Pre-Budget Consultations.

Focus groups per Cluster - Socio-Economic, Education, Health, Disability, Environment, Family
Protection, Social Housing - were conducted and each “rapporteurs” informed the whole group about
the key elements that should be included in the Budget 2018-2019 for the Republic of Mauritius.

It is mainly expected that: -

(1) Further Clarifications are asked to either DIRECLY to NGOs working in the respective cluster or
through the team that have administrated the consultations on Civil Society
Consultations, civilsocietyconsultations@gmail.com.

(2) The representatives of each cluster are consulted each quarterly by the National CSR Foundation.
This will facilitate timely feedbacks (to and fro) to ensure an effective and efficient address of social
issues through cooperation.

Civil Society members present are unanimous in proposing that Government

1.0 Benefits to the NGO sector

1.1 Categorisation of Non-Governmental Organisations


It is time to differentiate between an organization running social services along with the State (e.g
Service d’Utilité publique1) and other organisations, still non-governmental, but operating at
Community level, Socio-cultural, Sports and leisure or associations catering for the benefits of their
own members. This is to help the State in fighting social scourges in a sustainable way. This will help
government to plan a yearly budget at the NCSRF level to invest in these common actions. To ensure
effectiveness and efficiency these recognized organizations could be partners, in their respective field,
at planning, organisation and implementation level while being subject to Government’s control to
ensure good governance and performance. These organisations recognised to be of public utility can
legitimately benefit from fiscal reliefs like tax reliefs or refunds.

• Vote no less than a Rs 10million budget to fund consultancy work to analyze


existing recommendations2, to analyze how organisations recognised to be of public utility
operates and to formulate an updated policy paper to finally propose a Bill in order to
differentiate between an organization running social services along with the State and other
organisations.

1
https://droit-finances.commentcamarche.com/contents/1388-l-association-d-utilite-publique-definition
2
Strengthening the NGO sector in Mauritius, the national NGO Policy paper 2012 and the Mapping study of
civil society organizations in the Republic of Mauritius.

Pre Budget Consultations 2018_ Civil Society Republic of Mauritius


Pre-Budget Consultations 2018

Civil Society Contribution


1.2 Utilities Rate
• Due to the charitable status or all NGOs they deserve a preferential tariff or exemption on
utilities (water, electricity, telephone, internet);

1.3 Income tax relief


• Individual donations deductible from Income Tax (max 25%) in order to foster solidarity for
vulnerable members of the society;

1.4 Taxation
• Exempt from tax on building materials for construction and renovation of building used for
the operation of services to beneficiaries;

1.5 NGOs Utility Vehicles


• 50-100% Duty Free for utility vehicles to transport beneficiaries directly (including marine
vehicles);
• Free Road Tax for utility vehicles of NGOs;

1.6 Corporate Social Responsibility


• Maintain the 50% of the CSR funds with the private companies as the NCSR Foundation is red-
taped, one call for proposal per year is not practical enough and many services are already
disrupted. At the moment NGOs are able to solicit many CSR departments in the private and
the potential of mobilizing funds is greater;
• The Centralisation of funds could be successful unless and until the categorisation of NGOs is
done as mentioned in section 1.1 above;
• NGOs offering services but not yet recognised as of public utility, should be able to present a
sustainable programme (Min 3-year), on a performance-based approach, to avoid disruption
of services;
• Systematic consultation with NGOs (every 4 months) with 1 representative from each NGO
cluster (Socio-Economic, Education, Health, Disability, Environment, Family Protection, Sports
and Leisure, Social Housing) would foster a dynamic relationship between the NCSR
Foundation and the Civil Society to ensure the smooth progress of the NGO sector of the
republic of Mauritius in the best interest of the vulnerable population;
• The Global Business is prospering in Mauritius and they shall ALSO contribute to the NCSR
Foundation via the MRA by giving 50% less than the local companies, i.e 1% of their profit. This
will still be an incentive for investors;
• The NCSR Foundation shall make the distinction between Services, which shall be sustained,
in education and health for instance and Projects which are new or ad hoc. The idea is to
avoid a lack of funds – due to a mushrooming of projects – for the services to the needy who
cannot benefit from these services from the State;
• The administration of the NCSR Foundation has to be reinforced to enable them to continue
their operations smoothly;

Pre Budget Consultations 2018_ Civil Society Republic of Mauritius


Pre-Budget Consultations 2018

Civil Society Contribution


1.7 Grant in aid
• All grant aids shall be subject to annual review based on inflation and the government's wage
increase policy or the minimum wage;

1.8 Other grants


• More transparency regarding the use of grants provided by the various ministries. Possibility
for NGOs to receive multiple grants from various ministries;

1.9 Government facilities to NGOs


• Make unused public premises available to NGOs (free or low cost) to help them in their
operations;

1.10 Human Resource of NGOs


1.11 Remuneration order

• Specify salary scales for the NGO sector. This is also subject to Section 1.1 above;

1.12 Government educational facilities

• Trainings provided by public institutions (MIE, University of Mauritius etc.) could be made
available to NGO staff (free of charge or at preferential rates);

1.13 HRDC

• The NPF/NSF online form - other than MNS - do not enable NGOs to check for the Levy space
to contribute, this shall be amended;

2.0 Housing

2.1 Renovation of existing houses


• Increase grant for vulnerable families to restore houses. Extend grant access to Cité EDC
owners to avoid the deterioration of living conditions and improve their living conditions;

2.2 Contracts of social housing


• Regularize the contracts of social housing for those who are compliant and already have the
means to enlarge their house;

2.3 Policy for social housing


• Review policy to allow construction of small ecological villages. Consult systematically the
NGOs specialized in this field.

Pre Budget Consultations 2018_ Civil Society Republic of Mauritius


Pre-Budget Consultations 2018

Civil Society Contribution


2.4 NHDC Houses
• To expand it over the island to reach regions where the RDI is low, like in Black River, Case
Noyal, Morne.
• The NHDC Deposit of Rs 120,000 per family is way too high and has to be lowered as many
families are not being able to afford it.
• Middle Class Scheme: Work out a scheme for Middle Class citizens to enable them to secure a
housing unit.
• Due to the Climate Change impact on the country, many houses are being flooded. Reinforce
the Budget for Drainage at Local Government level and RDA.
• Implement existing Asbestos policy to eliminate this health and social problem and to propose
a Special Housing Scheme for Asbestos House Owners.
• A Social Contract for Low Cost Housing (NHDC/NEF) is to be applied globally and attached to
it a Social Accompaniment programme for families to enable them in securing a job and invest
in the education of their children.
• The waiting period for the allocation low cost housing shall not be more than 18 months.
• Set up Half way homes to support vulnerable persons in the meantime of obtaining a proper
house.
• Government to design a rent scheme for vulnerable women: widows, separated, divorced,
elderly, who cannot afford the purchase even though gradual purchase, until that their
children are grown up.

2.5 Housing for the Elderly


• Elderly persons are usually alone and vulnerable, it is a must to create a Senior Citizen’s
village, like the Camp Veuve at Abercrombie, Ste Croix, as housing is a right but security also
is important.

3.0 Employment

3.1 Delocalized development


• A thorough analysis is to be made on the Relative Development Index to determine why certain
areas remain in social exclusion since our independence. All successive Governments are
perceived to favour constituencies that put them in power whereas elected politicians have
the duty to work in the interests of all citizens regardless of their political opinion. A
Development plan has to be made to be reach those areas who have known a relative
underdevelopment.

3.2 New employment sector


• Develop the landscaping sector, so that the highways, beaches and green spaces are better
maintained. This will contribute in the sustainability of the country in regards to the protection
of the environment.

Pre Budget Consultations 2018_ Civil Society Republic of Mauritius


Pre-Budget Consultations 2018

Civil Society Contribution


4.0 Education

4.1 Elementary education


• Make pre-primary education universally accessible and free especially in pockets of poverty.
The quality of the education delivered to be monitored by the parent Ministry.

4.2 Insurance for learners


• It is important that all learners are given a free public liability insurance (formal and informal
schools are to be considered).

4.3 New educational training


• Include a budget to implement sexual education and violence prevention courses in primary
and secondary schools.

4.4 Special Education Needs - Grants


• Many Non-Formal Schools are operating without any grants. There is a necessity to analyse
the Special Education Needs and include vulnerable children as part of those have special
needs as worldwide definitions do not focus only on learners having disabilities. This shall be
a way towards the Recognition of Non-Formal Schools so that they are included in the national
Education Strategy.
• Increase the grants of SEN Schools to enable them to align the salaries of their personnel, inter
alia, career, to the Minimum wage.

4.5 Additional funds


• Provide funds for the improvement of infrastructure of schools managed by NGOs (sanitary,
classrooms digital classes).

4.6 Increase teachers


• Decrease the ratio of teachers to pupils so that it does not exceed 1:25 (primary and secondary)
and 1: 8 (pre-primary).

4.7 Increase psychologists


• Create jobs for trained, qualified and competent psychologists and counsellors with a
maximum ratio of 1 psychologist for 3 schools. For the time being the ratio is 1 psychologist
for 20 schools approximately. The wellbeing of students has an immediate impact on their
learning and personal development.

Pre Budget Consultations 2018_ Civil Society Republic of Mauritius


Pre-Budget Consultations 2018

Civil Society Contribution


4.8 Adequate infrastructure (rest room/nursing assistant) in schools
• All schools are to be equipped with infirmary services and qualified staff to provide first aid
and services to students having health problems (e.g. for diabetic children needing to inject
themselves with Insulin).

4.9 Mauritius Institute of Training and Development (MITD)


• A foundation course is to be launched to create equal opportunities for the vulnerable children
who have not been able to cope in the formal sector but have done well in the non-formal
sector. The MITD does not offer the possibilities for all learners, especially those in the Non-
Formal Education sector to integrate the vocational training centres despite that they have
acquired basic knowledge and skills. Despite of not being examined by a recognised body does
not mean that learners in the non-formal sector are not proficient enough to join the MITD.
The foundation course could add an element of justice especially in the context of the
Education for All strategy of UNESCO.
• Offer National Certificate 2, NC2, in all MITD Centres as the NC2 is not enough offered
throughout the MITD centres, this make it difficult for learners in the non-formal sector to
have an opportunity to join MITD training path.

4.10 MIE
• Training facilities for Non-Formal Sector so as to ensure that they are able to deliver quality
education.

4.11 NGO-Government partnership


• To finance NGO services within the school system be it in the Music classes or Drug prevention
classes or sexual education. For the time being NGOs are to seek funds from the private sector
to be able to run programmes for the best interests of students within a partnership with the
State.

4.12 Attendance Allowance


• Attendance allowance to be increased;

4.13 Social Aid


• Social Aid to be increased. and granted by end of the month, the calculation period to be made
between 21st – 20th of each month. The late payment of this allowance prevents families to
cater for their needs at the beginning of each months;

4.14 Automatic promotion


• The automatic promotion shall be reviewed;

Pre Budget Consultations 2018_ Civil Society Republic of Mauritius


Pre-Budget Consultations 2018

Civil Society Contribution


5.0 Health

5.1 Improve testing care & Treatment for “Hard to Reach Population” via a
“one stop shop”

• HIV, Syphilis and HCV (Hepatitis C Virus) are still on the rise in Mauritius despite the fact that
they are now treatment to cure HCV and Syphilis, and to control HIV up to a point that it can
no longer be transmitted by people receiving the proper treatment. Unfortunately, HIV, HCV
and Syphilis are concentrated among “Hard to reach Population” (People who Inject Drugs,
Men Having Sex with Men, Transgender, Sex Workers), a segment of the population highly
stigmatized with specific health needs. In order to increase the efficiency of our interventions
(MOH and NGOs) we would like the government to provide for the National Budget 2018-
2019, a budget line to create a structure that will put together the Human resources of NGOs
(social workers, psychologists, peers, nurses, outreach workers ) and those of the MoH
(trained doctors / nurses, treatment and lab equipment) in order to centralize in one place the
different aspect of a holistic approach : testing, treatment, harm reduction material,
counselling, social services, treatment literacy, psychological, nutritional and psychiatric
support.

• This full collaboration trough this “one stop shop” will diminish our “lost to follow” patient and
improve pour success rate in the clinical and social management of HIV, HCV, Syphilis and
other STI.

5.2 Computerisation
• It is high time to computerise the health sector, ranging from case management systems, to
stock control systems taking into consideration confidentiality.

5.3 Review Dangerous Drugs Act


• New studies from WHO and Global Commission on Drug Policy urges all stakeholders to reflect
on the actual legislation and to make progress in the sector.
• Drug HIV Council to get funds to implement the Drug Control Master Plan.

5.4 Medical structure for schools


• Nursing officer in schools (diabetic children for example) as mentioned in section 4.8.

5.5 Improved tests


• Continuously upgrade laboratory with equipment to test viral load, haemophilia, and others
(cheaper on the long run).

5.6 Drug addiction policies (DRUG POLICY REFORM)


• Review the Government policies for drugs and the rehabilitation centre of young people under
18, for those in different drug courses.

Pre Budget Consultations 2018_ Civil Society Republic of Mauritius


Pre-Budget Consultations 2018

Civil Society Contribution


5.7 Rehabilitation centres
• Create drug rehabilitation centres, particularly for youth using drugs including alcohol. This is
lacking in Mauritius.

5.8 National Health Strategic plan


• Vote a budget for the setting up of a national strategic plan for health. Organise a multi-
sectoral forum to work on this plan, in the spirit of collaboration with the government so that
the implementation of the plan is sustainable and feasible. The idea is to reach a synergy
between non-state actors working in the health sector and the ministry for better coordination
and service delivery in the best interests of patients.

5.9 Increase stock of medicines and other consumables


• Improve the procurement of the Ministry of health to avoid rupture of stock which is too
frequent (medicines, syringes, colostomy bags, …).

5.10 Methadone
• Appreciation from Civil society for the reintroduction of the Methadone. However more
resources are to be allocated in order to enhance and make it more effective. Methadone in
front of police custodies must be reviewed to make it available in hospitals, pharmacies and
health centres;

5.11 Dental caravan


• Launch a dental caravan to reach beneficiaries in areas having difficulties to access the health
centres or other medical institutions, NGOs could also support and facilitate access to the
services for beneficiaries.

5.12 Med Point Clinic (Cancer Hospital)


• NGOs to have access to the upcoming Cancer Hospital to offer their services as it is the case in
other public hospitals. Have a counselling room and a permanent psychologist for cancer
patients.
• Institutionalise a partnership between public hospitals and NGOs operating with cancer
patients so that Doctors could refer these patients for therapy.
• Purchase a new Simulator for Radio Therapy Machine for the new Cancer Hospital.

5.13 Paediatrics
• Make provision for rooms where beds for parents are placed to enable them to stay with their
sick child.

Pre Budget Consultations 2018_ Civil Society Republic of Mauritius


Pre-Budget Consultations 2018

Civil Society Contribution


5.14 New Employment
• Create positions that are in high demand like child/Adult psychiatrists, addictologists and HIV
specialists.
• Drugs and HIV council: Resources are to be catered for activities in line with the Drug Control
Master Plan (Budget for implementation). +

Medical visits at home


• Medical visits shall be extended to all bed ridden patients regardless of their age as it is the
case for 75 years old persons.

6.0 Poverty

6.1 Marshall Plan


• Civil society members are unanimously requesting that this plan is rendered public and that
further multi-sectoral consultations are made to better adapt it to the actual Mauritian
context and to discuss its implementation.

6.2 Social Register of Mauritius


• Conduct a survey to analyse the impact of the SRM on poor families and consult NGOs who
have found that the SRM should concern more persons. Many categories are left out though
they are genuine and hardship cases which defeats the purpose of such a measure. A
workshop is to be organised with relevant stakeholders to improve the system.
• Criteria of eligibility shall consider that families living as tenants usually pays a monthly fee
of around Rs3000-5000, for example, and this automatically impacts on the standard of
living of the family.

6.3 Minimum wage


• Increase the minimum wage.

6.4 Social Entrepreneurship


• to popularize and develop more means for initiative of social entrepreneurship (example
perma-culture, food self-sufficiency).

6.5 Kindergartens
• Creating kindergarten in poor neighbourhoods to enable parents to work.

6.6 Hawkers
• Design a new scheme to support Hawkers in absolute poverty.

Pre Budget Consultations 2018_ Civil Society Republic of Mauritius


Pre-Budget Consultations 2018

Civil Society Contribution


6.7 National Empowerment Foundation
• Contract an independent impact analysis of the NEF. The NEF has been operating for enough
years for it to be subject to such an assessment to measure how far has the beneficiaries
benefit from their strategy to eradicate poverty. The State has the duty to know how
efficient this body has been while the administrative and human resources costs are quite
important.

7.0 Family and Children

7.1 Child Development Unit


• To organise ongoing training and psychological support for officers from CDU and Family
welfare protection unit.
• Increase the human resources of the CDU and the FPU to be able to assist the victims and
families in a better way.
• CDU officers have to follow up shelter leavers at their 18 years. Many of these young adults
are lost as there is no programme post shelter.
• Increase the number of shelters as many are already overcrowded.

7.4 Rehabilitation Youth Centre and Correctional Youth Centre


• The RYC and CYC have to be placed under another administration than the Mauritius Prison
Service. The idea is to encourage a social integration of youth after their path at the RYC or
CYC to reduce or eliminate any anti-social behaviour. There is need for a more appropriate
approach towards residents.
• Invest in an appropriate system of education for residents of RYC. There is only one teacher
for RYC and CYC. They study only up until form 3 level with no academic equivalent
qualification. This is not conducive to social integration and it is urgent to take measures.

7.5 Post RYC and CYC Shelters


• No shelter exists for young adults aged 18 coming from RYC and CYC as well as other children
shelters. There need to be shelters for such cases where parents or guardian refuse to take
up responsibility of the young adults when they are released.
• Need to grant funds for setting up of such shelters to cater for the needs of homeless young
adults coming out from RYC and CYC

7.5 Legal Aid


• Legal Aid to apply to juvenile delinquents and increase in the income scale to be eligible for
free legal aid. Many juniors who have just called to the Bar of Mauritius need experience and
they usually work with a Senior barrister which will guarantee an experienced eye on the

Pre Budget Consultations 2018_ Civil Society Republic of Mauritius


Pre-Budget Consultations 2018

Civil Society Contribution


7.6 Police cases
• Develop private areas in police stations and train police officers to take statements with
children. Proceedings shall be in camera for minors.

7.7 Children’s law court


• Provision for such facility with purposefully trained magistrates.

7.8 Retirement Pension


• Pension brackets are to be shortened, 60-75years; 76-85; 86-90; 91-100; 100+ to make it more
resilient to inflation and other needs of senior citizens.

7.9 Carers allowance


• To be reviewed to match Minimum Wage.

7.10 Paediatric Hospital


• Creation of paediatric hospital as there is a need to invest in the health of our youth. A
specialised hospital with specially trained personnel would foster a better relationship
between patients and medical institutions.

7.11 Inoperable diseases in Mauritius


• The grant aid for inoperable diseases in Mauritius has to be reviewed to give proportional
support to persons whose treatment costs higher.

8.0 Environment

8.1 National Heritage Trust


• NGOs have to benefit from more resources to protect our national heritage.

8.2 New authority


• Create an authority to manage natural sites (sanitary, waste)

8.3 Recycling
• Empower local communities to sort and recycle their waste (different trucks that recover
recyclable and non-recyclable waste). Launch a national sensitization campaign.

8.5 Increase compositing


• Continue initiatives such as composting and encourage all Mauritians to do their own compost
by offering compost bin for free to each household.

Pre Budget Consultations 2018_ Civil Society Republic of Mauritius


Pre-Budget Consultations 2018

Civil Society Contribution


8.6 Environment Police
• Give more resources to the environmental police (discreet and effective) to punish offenders.

9.0 Disability

9.1 Transport
• Offer a Mini Bus (14 seats) and the salary of a driver (min Wage) + Helper (Min Wage) for the
transportation for People Living with Disabilities;

9.2 Improve access to public places


• Invest in Infrastructure to allow PLWDs to circulate (wheelchairs, braille for blind, pictograms
for autistics);

9.3 Enforce parking rules


• Enforce the law to punish contraveners who do not respect reserved parkings for PLWDs;

9.4 New authority


• Consult NGOs in regards to the setting up of a special education needs authority (as well as
the SPFS);

9.5 Employment of PLWDs


• Creation of sheltered workshops for the employment of disabled adults;

9.6 Enforce employment laws


• Enforce the laws as many companies supposed to employ disabled people are not compliant;

9.7 Allowance for carers


• Provide a budget for life support workers to care for adults with disabilities who have no family
to care for them, increase the carers allowance by 50%;

9.8 Disability pension


• Revise the pension according to the cost of living and make it possible to cumulate pensions
(invalidity and old age)

9.9 Grant for access to specialised equipment’s


• Grant for specialized equipment for the disabled (Braille typewriter, Braille paper, software,
etc.)

Pre Budget Consultations 2018_ Civil Society Republic of Mauritius


Pre-Budget Consultations 2018

Civil Society Contribution


9.10 Disability Bill
• It is urgent to report on the status of the Disability Bill.

9.11 SEN Policy Paper


• The SEN Policy Paper does not include, as initially, vulnerable children who needs a special
attention and approach to help them in coping with education. The paper is too focused on
disability and it is not the Special Education Needs for the Disabled but for all learners having
a need for special education. The Zone d’Education Prioritaire philosophy has to be applied as
a special education approach.

9.12 Invalid person


• Cumulative pension scheme for widows and invalid persons at 60years old as it is unjust to
leave the PLWDs and the widows only with a senior citizen pension. The invalid pension as
the widow pension are to be extended even if it is not 100% carried after 60 years old. This
will bring more justice to them.

9.13 Regionalized Pluridisciplinary Panel


• Need to have the M-Chat and Denver Test in all hospitals.

9.14 Health Card


• To add invalidity level if applicable to a child.

10.0 Conclusion

The Civil Society members present to that participatory session are glad to contribute to the Pre-
Budget Consultations of the Republic of Mauritius in view of improving the address of social issues
which is a common objective for Civil society members, Private sector and Government.

MoFED officers can contact the participants and administrators on civilsocietyconsultations@gmail.com


or 5256 5556 to ensure that proper understanding is reached so as to develop further the budget
2018-2019.

Civil society members are thankful to Government.

We remain.

22 Signatory Members

Pre Budget Consultations 2018_ Civil Society Republic of Mauritius