Category Archives: Government finances

Urgent appeal to Western Cape households to get counted in Census 2022

Residents of the Western Cape have an additional period – until 14 May – to complete the Census questionnaire. The province is still lagging behind the rest of the country in terms of completeness of data collection. Nationally, 88% of households have been counted while the Western Cape is at the 60% mark. Stats SA   read more »


Tightening municipal statistics: Stats SA’s alignment to mSCOA

Municipal financial systems have been overhauled. Under the new Municipal Standard Chart of Accounts (mSCOA) framework, municipalities have changed the way in which they do their finances. As a result, Stats SA implemented changes to its Quarterly financial statistics of selected municipalities (QFSSM) survey. What is the QFSSM? Not only does Stats SA publish data   read more »


Third wave of COVID and civil disorder pummel economy as GDP falls by 1,5%

Third wave of COVID and civil disorder pummel economy as GDP falls by 1,5%

Under the twin pressures of tighter COVID-19 lockdown restrictions and a spate of civil disorder in July, as well as several other headwinds, the South African economy contracted in the third quarter of 2021 (July–September). After recording four consecutive quarters of positive growth, real gross domestic product (GDP) slumped by 1,5%1, eroding some of the   read more »


An overview of government spending

An overview of government spending

Total South African government spending flirted with the R2 trillion mark in the 2019/20 financial year, according to data published by Stats SA. The data, recently published in the Financial statistics of consolidated general government statistical release, covers the period before the COVID-19 pandemic, providing a benchmark for when comparable pandemic-era data become available. The South   read more »


The decline in public-sector infrastructure spending

The decline in public-sector infrastructure spending

A simple picture can tell a striking story. The bell-shaped chart below shows the rise and subsequent decline of South African public-sector infrastructure investment. Capital expenditure represents the money that is spent on construction, machinery, equipment, land, buildings and other fixed assets. This form of investment has an impact on communication, travel, logistics and the   read more »


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 »