Category Archives: Government finances

General government spending slows in 2016/17

General government spending slows in 2016/17

Indicative of an economy under strain, expenditure by general government increased by just 4,7% from 2015/16 to 2016/17. This is the lowest annual rise in spending on record since 2005/06, when Stats SA started publishing the current series of its Financial statistics of consolidated general government report. The latest financial data provide an updated picture   read more »


Who is most likely to be affected by long-term unemployment?

Who is most likely to be affected by long-term unemployment?

South Africa’s official unemployment rate is on the increase. In the past 10 years (2008–2018), the unemployment rate has increased from 21,5% to almost 28,0%. Unemployment refers to those persons who were not employed, had taken steps to look for a job or to start a business and were available to take up a job   read more »


Higher education continues to cut capital spending

Higher education continues to cut capital spending

Capital expenditure by South Africa’s higher education institutions continued to fall, for the second consecutive year. The country’s 20 universities and 6 universities of technology recorded a 5,4% drop in capital expenditure in 2017 compared with 2016, falling from R6,22 billion to R5,89 billion. This followed a 0,7% drop in 2016, according to Stats SA’s recent Financial   read more »


An update to municipal spending and revenue (June 2018)

An update to municipal spending and revenue (June 2018)

South Africa’s 257 municipalities spent a total of R88,6 billion in the quarter ended June 2018, 18% more than the R75,1 billion spent during the quarter ended March 2018. Municipal revenue was down, however, falling by 6% over the same period, from R87,6 billion (March quarter) to R82,6 billion (June quarter). Stats SA’s latest Quarterly financial statistics of municipalities   read more »


Breakdown of provincial government revenue for 2016/17

Breakdown of provincial government revenue for 2016/17

Where does provincial government get its funding from? South Africa’s nine provincial governments form the second tier of government, sandwiched between national government and local government. Among other functions, provincial governments play an important role in the administration of the country’s health and education systems. Provincial government departments sourced R519,4 billion in revenue in 2016/17,   read more »


Despite the VAT increase, food inflation continues to fall

Despite the VAT increase, food inflation continues to fall

Annual food inflation continues to slow despite April’s rise in value added tax (VAT). In fact, some food items are actually cheaper than they were a year ago. The items you are now paying less for are in the oil, bread, fruit and sugar categories, according to the latest Consumer Price Index (CPI) release.1 Bread   read more »


BRICS: Where does South Africa rank?

BRICS: Where does South Africa rank?

Much excitement surrounds the 10th BRICS Summit currently taking place in Johannesburg. Heads of State and representatives from the club’s five members – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – are gearing up for a week of deliberation over common issues and shared interests. As the host, how does South Africa rank in terms   read more »


National government funding allocations: Who are the main beneficiaries?

National government funding allocations: Who are the main beneficiaries?

Where does your tax money go after it has entered the state coffers? Recent data provide an overview of how national government distributes money to other levels of government. Stats SA publishes financial data for the different levels of government (i.e. national, provincial, local, extra-budgetary accounts) and higher education institutions in separate reports throughout the   read more »


Four facts about municipal debt

Four facts about municipal debt

Eskom announced earlier this year that it would roll out power cuts to several defaulting municipalities.1 The inability of particular municipalities to honour debt payments has been a thorn in the flesh of local government administration. The following are a few key facts about municipal debt, from Statistics South Africa’s latest Financial census of municipalities   read more »


If South Africa’s provinces were independent states

If South Africa’s provinces were independent states

Perspective matters. A lot. Recent provincial economic data published by Stats SA take on a fresh light when they’re ranked against other countries. Gauteng is South Africa’s economic powerhouse. The province contributed just over a third to South Africa’s economic output in 2016, according to provincial gross domestic product (GDP) figures.1 In runner-up positions were   read more »