Category Archives: Government finances

Further data shows lagging infrastructure investment

Further data shows lagging infrastructure investment

In June 2020, government announced the roll-out of an extensive infrastructure investment drive that would cover 55 projects across six sectors. The programme is an attempt to kick-start an economy battered by COVID-19, as well as to address a history of chronic infrastructure underspending.1 The concern over declining infrastructure investment is further confirmed by Stats   read more »


Steep slump in GDP as COVID-19 takes its toll on the economy

Steep slump in GDP as COVID-19 takes its toll on the economy

The punch in the gut was severe. Perhaps the second quarter of 2020 will become known as the pandemic quarter. South Africa’s economy suffered a significant contraction during April, May and June, when the country operated under widespread lockdown restrictions in response to COVID-19. Gross domestic product (GDP) fell by just over 16% between the   read more »


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 »


Working capital: How do municipalities fare?

Working capital: How do municipalities fare?

How many South African municipalities are in a position to pay back short-term debt? Stats SA’s latest Financial census of municipalities report provides an answer. One way to gauge a business or government institution’s ability to pay back short-term debt is to inspect the working capital ratio. The working capital ratio is a financial indicator.   read more »


GDP falls by 2,0%

GDP falls by 2,0%

The South African economy recorded its third consecutive quarter of economic decline, falling by 2,0% (seasonally adjusted and annualised) in the first quarter of 2020.1 This followed a contraction of -1,4% and -0,8% in the fourth and third quarters of 2019, respectively. The results presented here cover the period 1 January 2020 to 31 March   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 »


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 »


Government spending climbs to R1,71 trillion

Government spending climbs to R1,71 trillion

The South African government spent 7,3% more in 2017/18 than it did in 2016/17. The rise was largely driven by general public services, education and health. This pushed total government spending up to R1,71 trillion1 in 2017/18, R116 billion more than the R1,59 trillion spent in 2016/17. This is according to the latest Financial statistics of consolidated general   read more »


Public-sector capital expenditure continues to fall

Public-sector capital expenditure continues to fall

Public-sector investment in the nation’s infrastructure slowed for a second consecutive year, falling by 8,2% in 2018. This followed a 4,0% decline in 2017. These decreases have seen public-sector capital expenditure slip to a level last seen in 2014. Capital expenditure is money that institutions spend to buy, maintain or upgrade fixed assets such as   read more »