Category Archives: Government finances

Municipal bucket toilet use continues to decline

Municipal bucket toilet use continues to decline

The number of consumer units using municipal bucket toilets fell from 60 557 in 2017 to 42 612 in 2018. This represents a 29,6% decrease in a single year, according to the latest Non-financial census of municipalities report. In 2014, the total was 85 718. The bucket toilets1 mentioned here are those that municipalities provide to communities located   read more »


Constitutional institutions: a financial snapshot

Constitutional institutions: a financial snapshot

Constitutional institutions are tasked with strengthening South Africa’s democracy, by keeping a watchful eye on government and society at large. Recent financial data show which constitutional institutions are receiving the biggest piece of the revenue pie. The Auditor-General was the largest recipient of revenue in the 2017/18 fiscal year, taking up 56% of revenue received   read more »


How large is the small business footprint?

How large is the small business footprint?

In 2015, Stats SA published an article highlighting the contribution that small businesses make to industry turnover in South Africa.1 The March 2019 Quarterly financial statistics (QFS) report provides an update. The entire formal business sector2 generated R2,39 trillion in turnover in Q1: 2019. Out of this amount, large businesses contributed 62%, followed by small (29%) and   read more »


Debt owed to municipalities reaches R72,4 billion

Debt owed to municipalities reaches R72,4 billion

We often hear of how much municipalities are in debt. But there is another side of the coin. Municipalities themselves are owed money, often by consumers and institutions. Debt owed to South Africa’s 257 municipalities (referred to as net current debtors1) totalled R72,4 billion in the 2018 financial year, according to the latest Financial census of   read more »


A breakdown of the tax pie

A breakdown of the tax pie

Note: The original version of this article was published on 25 June 2019, with the international tax-to-GDP ratio figures based on data from the IMF. After discussions with National Treasury, it was agreed that tax-to-GDP figures from the OECD provide a more relevant picture when South Africa is compared with other countries, as the IMF   read more »


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 »