Category Archives: Expenditure and Income

EBA spending on transport declines

EBA spending on transport declines

The South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) and the Gautrain Management Agency were two of five transport institutions that cut spending in 2018/19. Total expenditure by extra-budgetary accounts and funds (EBAs) involved in transport fell by 3,5%, from R32,0 billion in 2017/18 to R30,9 billion in 2018/19.1 This is according to the latest Financial statistics of   read more »


An update to municipal spending and revenue (March 2020)

An update to municipal spending and revenue (March 2020)

Local government increased spending by 12,2% over the last year, driven largely by increased spending on employee costs. South Africa’s 257 municipalities spent R96,8 billion in the quarter ended March 2020 on operational costs, up from R86,3 billion in the quarter ended March 2019. This excludes capital spending. The latest Quarterly financial statistics of municipalities report shows   read more »


A 110-year-old trade venture

A 110-year-old trade venture

It’s fascinating to think that one of the earliest experiments in free trade happened right here in southern Africa. Exactly 110 years ago this month, the Southern Africa Customs Union (SACU) was born. We explore data showing how the region depends on the oldest surviving trading bloc in the world. On 31 May 1910, South   read more »


COVID-19: Nine in ten businesses report reduced turnover

COVID-19: Nine in ten businesses report reduced turnover

The second wave of Stats SA’s COVID-19 business impact survey provides an update on how South African businesses are currently faring under lockdown. The first impact survey covered the period 30 March to 13 April 2020, and the results were published on 21 April.1 The survey asked firms in the formal sector how the COVID-19   read more »


An update to municipal spending and revenue (December 2019)

An update to municipal spending and revenue (December 2019)

South Africa’s 257 municipalities spent a total of R95,2 billion in the quarter ended December 2019 (October to December). This is how much it costs municipalities to provide services – such as water, electricity and sanitation – to millions of households across the country. The R95,2 billion was higher than the R84,4 billion that was   read more »


Working capital: how do South African businesses fare?

Working capital: how do South African businesses fare?

Stats SA provides a snapshot of working capital across the formal business sector in the latest release of the Annual Financial Statistics (AFS) report. Working capital is a measure of a company’s liquidity and is one of a number of measures that provide insight into a company’s ability to pay off debt. To calculate working   read more »


Business profit jumps in financial year 2016/17

Business profit jumps in financial year 2016/17

Some good news in trying times. After two consecutive years of decline, South African businesses recorded a 49% increase in net profit before tax in financial 2017, according to Stats SA’s latest Annual financial statistics (AFS) survey. The mining industry was the largest contributor to this rise. The success of a business generally depends on   read more »


Plugging the skills gap one leak at a time

Plugging the skills gap one leak at a time

Recent news reports of sewage spills in the Vaal Dam have again raised concerns over South Africa’s water resources. In order to reduce the costs of maintaining the country’s water network, government has embarked on a programme to train unemployed youth with skills to patch up ageing infrastructure. An important tool to fight joblessness is   read more »


Public-sector capital expenditure shrinks for the first time since 2010

Public-sector capital expenditure shrinks for the first time since 2010

A pull-back in spending on plant, machinery, new construction works and transport equipment saw capital expenditure in the public sector fall by 4,3% in 2017, according to Stats SA’s latest Capital expenditure by the public sector report. Capital expenditure is money that an institution spends to buy, maintain or upgrade fixed assets, such as buildings,   read more »


How do women fare in the South African labour market?

How do women fare in the South African labour market?

The South African labour market is more favourable to men than it is to women and men are more likely to be in paid employment than women, regardless of race. According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey released by Statistics South Africa, the official unemployment rate has been relatively high since 2008. In the last   read more »