Category Archives: Government finances

Five facts about the electricity, gas & water supply industry (2019)

Five facts about the electricity, gas & water supply industry (2019)

We are all keenly aware of the electricity challenges our country is facing. Here are five key facts from Stats SA’s latest report on the industry, covering data on the nation’s energy mix, electricity production, and employment. The Electricity, gas and water supply industry report for 2019 covers the results of a large sample survey   read more »


The role of EBAs in public healthcare spending

The role of EBAs in public healthcare spending

There are a small number of healthcare institutions that fall in the extra-budgetary accounts and funds (EBAs) arm of government. You may have heard of the South African Medical Research Council and the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority in media coverage of COVID-19. A recent report by Stats SA provides pre-COVID-19 financial data for   read more »


Municipal dependence on national government financing

Municipal dependence on national government financing

What makes Stats SA’s Financial census of municipalities report so interesting is that it provides an idea of how financially dependent municipalities are on national government. The latest data show that the share of income that municipalities generate on their own has increased slightly since 2017, but there is more to this finding than meets   read more »


The peaks and troughs of municipal income

The peaks and troughs of municipal income

For many of us who are fortunate enough, things just work. Turn on a tap, and water flows. Flip a switch, and there is light. We often take for granted the extremely complex system that provides us with services every day. Local government is a vital cog in this system. South Africa’s 257 municipalities are   read more »


Municipalities: service delivery, bucket toilets and gender representation

Municipalities: service delivery, bucket toilets and gender representation

There are two sides to every coin. Service delivery in South Africa is often measured from the demand side, via household surveys and the Population Census. What you might not know about is that data also exist for the supply side, collected from those who provide services. Every year Stats SA asks municipalities to provide   read more »


GDP rallies as lockdown restrictions ease

GDP rallies as lockdown restrictions ease

South Africa’s economy rebounded in the third quarter of 2020 (July–September), coinciding with the easing of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. All industries recorded an increase in economic activity compared with the second quarter, with manufacturing, trade and mining leading the charge. Businesses were supported by an increase in both exports and household spending. Gross domestic product   read more »


What does government spend money on?

What does government spend money on?

A recent release from Stats SA provides a breakdown of financial data from all 708 institutions in government. This article provides an overview of what government spent money on in 2018/19, with focus on the public service wage bill. South African general government spent R1,79 trillion in 2018/19, according to the latest Financial statistics of consolidated   read more »


An update on municipal finances for the quarter ending June 2020

An update on municipal finances for the quarter ending June 2020

Even though South Africa’s 257 municipalities increased their spending in the quarter ended June 2020, the rise was slower than increases recorded in previous quarters. Spending increases by 4,6% Local government spent R105,9 billion in the quarter ended June 2020, up by R4,6 billion (or 4,6%) compared with the quarter ended June 2019, according to the latest   read more »


Public-sector infrastructure investment falls for a third year

Public-sector infrastructure investment falls for a third year

The economic downturn and reduced levels of government infrastructure investment have taken a heavy economic toll on capital spending by the public sector. Public-sector spending on infrastructure (referred to as capital expenditure) decreased for a third consecutive year, falling from R250 billion in 2018 to R231 billion in 2019 according to Stats SA’s latest Capital expenditure by   read more »


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 »