Category Archives: Government finances

Navigating the water crisis: where do we need the skills?

Navigating the water crisis: where do we need the skills?

With South Africa in the grip of drought, the role of local municipalities to provide clean water, maintain infrastructure, and reduce wastage has become more important than ever. Recent data on staff vacancies show which municipalities are struggling to fill funded posts in their water management departments. Municipalities in Free State seem to be struggling   read more »


Tuition fees: which universities are likely to feel the pinch?

Tuition fees: which universities are likely to feel the pinch?

With the announcement of a zero fee increase for higher education institutions next year, the focus is now on where the money will be sourced to finance the expected shortfall. Recent data provide an indication of which universities are most dependent on tuition fees, and as a result might be most vulnerable to a shortfall.   read more »


Two facts about university spending

Two facts about university spending

Stats SA’s Financial statistics of higher education institutions report provides an overview of university finances. Two key facts emerged from the report when it was released recently. Salaries take up half the pie South Africa’s 25 higher education institutions1 spent a total of R55,6 billion in the 2014 financial year, 50% (R27,5 billion) of which   read more »


Turnover and capital investment in the private sector rise

Turnover and capital investment in the private sector rise

Total turnover in the private sector increased by 1,6% in the quarter ended June 2015 compared with the quarter ended March 2015, according to Stats SA’s latest Quarterly financial statistics report. The electricity, mining, trade, manufacturing and transport sectors reported increases in turnover, while decreases were recorded for construction, community services (excluding government institutions) and   read more »


A glimpse at provincial government’s bank account

A glimpse at provincial government’s bank account

How are provincial governments using your tax money? Stats SA’s latest Financial Statistics of Provincial Government report describes the spending patterns of provincial government. Where do provinces get their money from? Mostly, from our tax contributions. Financial statements from 124 provincial government departments show that provincial governments sourced R429,9 billion in revenue in 2013/14. R415,7   read more »


Bucket toilets: an update

Bucket toilets: an update

The bucket toilet system remains a persistent phenomenon in seven of the nine provinces, despite measures to eradicate it. Where are bucket toilets still in use? And is South Africa succeeding in reducing its usage? Data from Stats SA’s latest Non-financial census of municipalities provides some insight into these questions. Eastern Cape boasts largest decrease   read more »


Municipal service delivery: less for free

Municipal service delivery: less for free

More basic services are being extended to municipalities’ constituencies, but fewer of these services are being provided for free.   This is according to the 2014 annual Non-financial census of municipalities report, which provides municipal data on various services (i.e. electricity, water, sewerage and sanitation, and solid waste management), details on indigents, and information on   read more »


Extra-budgetary institutions focus their spending on social protection

Extra-budgetary institutions focus their spending on social protection

Stats SA’s latest extra-budgetary accounts (EBA) statistical release contains economically and functionally classified financial data on 233 funds for the 2013/14 fiscal year. EBAs do not operate through normal parliamentary budgetary processes, but they perform an integral role in delivering services of the national government. Some examples of EBAs include the South African Revenue Service,   read more »


Public-sector infrastructure investment beckons hope in trying times

Public-sector infrastructure investment beckons hope in trying times

In an environment of low real economic growth, South African public-sector institutions continued to plough an increasing amount of capital expenditure into the economy in the financial year 2013/14. This is evident from the latest capital expenditure survey, which indicates that total capital expenditure by the public sector rose from R224,8 billion in 2012/13 to   read more »


Rural municipalities continue to depend on government for revenue

Rural municipalities continue to depend on government for revenue

Rural municipalities continue to rely heavily on national government to finance their budgets, according to data from the latest release of Stats SA’s Financial census of municipalities report. For every R1 of revenue received by municipalities in the year 2014, 33c was in the form of grants and subsidies from national and provincial government. The   read more »