Category Archives: Government finances

Four facts about our provincial economies

Four facts about our provincial economies

Each province is unique. Data published recently by Stats SA provide a portrait of South Africa’s provincial economies. Here are four facts you might not have known about our economic landscape.   Fact #1 Gauteng is South Africa’s economic powerhouse Don’t let Gauteng’s size on a map fool you. It might be the province with   read more »


How financially independent are municipalities?

How financially independent are municipalities?

Spending and income play an important role in determining local government’s ability to deliver services. The ability of a municipality to generate its own income is an important sign of its independence. The Quarterly Financial Statistics of Municipalities (QFSM) survey collects data on municipal operating expenditures and incomes on a quarterly basis. The December 2018   read more »


Government finances: surplus, deficit and debt

Government finances: surplus, deficit and debt

Believe it or not, there was a time – not so long ago – when the South African government actually spent less than it earned. Stats SA takes a look at government spending over 13 years, focusing on how much we pay to service our debt. Harking back to better times in February’s National Budget   read more »


Manufacturing: winners and losers of 2018

Manufacturing: winners and losers of 2018

The manufacturing industry rebounded in 2018, recording its highest annual growth rate in five years. The food and beverages and automotive divisions were the major drivers behind the rise. However, manufacturers in communication equipment, electrical machinery and clothing failed to perform. Manufacturing production increased by 1,2% in 2018 compared with 2017, according to Stats SA’s   read more »


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 »