Category Archives: Government finances

Provincial government finances: the impact of COVID-19

Provincial government finances: the impact of COVID-19

South Africa’s 122 provincial government departments spent R613,6 billion in 2020/21, according to the latest Financial statistics of provincial government statistical release. This is R16,9 billion more than the R596,8 billion recorded in 2019/20, representing a rise of 2,8%.1 The 2,8% rise is muted compared with the previous three years that recorded increases of around 7,0%. A closer   read more »


South African GDP declines by 0,7%

South African GDP declines by 0,7%

After two consecutive quarters of positive growth, real gross domestic product (GDP) decreased by 0,7%1 in the second quarter of 2022 (Q2: 2022). The devastating floods in KwaZulu-Natal and load shedding contributed to the decline, weakening an already fragile national economy that had just recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Manufacturing the biggest drag on GDP The flooding   read more »


Government finances: Social spending jumped in 2020/21

Government finances: Social spending jumped in 2020/21

The 254 institutions known as extra-budgetary accounts and funds (EBAs) form an important arm of government. Financial data for 2020/21 (1 April to 31 March) show a sharp rise in EBA spending as government rushed to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. Much of the increase was on social benefits, mainly for the COVID-19 Temporary   read more »


Economic recovery from COVID-19: Not all countries are equal

Economic recovery from COVID-19: Not all countries are equal

The South African economy took almost two years to recover from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. How does this compare with other countries? After plummeting in the second quarter of 2020 – when lockdown restrictions were at their most stringent – South African gross domestic product (GDP) clawed itself back to pre-pandemic levels in   read more »


Municipal finances and electricity: 11 years in perspective

Municipal finances and electricity: 11 years in perspective

Rising prices are hitting consumers hard, and the cost of electricity is no different. Municipalities play a significant role in the distribution of electricity in South Africa. Acting mostly as intermediaries, municipalities buy electricity from Eskom and then resell it to businesses, homes and other institutions. Eskom tariffs and purchases and sales of electricity A   read more »


After two years, GDP returns to pre-pandemic levels

After two years, GDP returns to pre-pandemic levels

South African gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by 1,9% in the first quarter of 2022, representing a second consecutive quarter of upward growth.1 The size of the economy is now at pre-pandemic levels, with real GDP slightly higher than what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. This release covers the first quarter of the year   read more »


South Africa’s youth continues to bear the burden of unemployment.

South Africa’s youth continues to bear the burden of unemployment.

Youth in South Africa continue to be disadvantaged in the labour market with an unemployment rate higher than the national average. According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the first quarter of 2022, the unemployment rate was 63,9% for those aged 15-24 and 42,1% for those aged 25-34 years, while the current official   read more »


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 »