Fast facts at your fin­ger­tips

Public Sector Manager - - CONTENTS -

Where does your tax money go af­ter it has en­tered the state cof­fers? Re­cent data pro­vided an over­view of how na­tional govern­ment dis­trib­utes money to other lev­els of govern­ment.

Sta­tis­tics South Africa (Stats SA) pub­lishes fi­nan­cial data for the dif­fer­ent lev­els of govern­ment (i.e. na­tional, pro­vin­cial, lo­cal and ex­tra-bud­getary ac­counts) and higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions in sep­a­rate re­ports through­out the year.These are fol­lowed up by a con­sol­i­dated re­port in Novem­ber that pro­vides an over­view of net govern­ment fi­nances.

Stats SA’s most re­cent re­lease of data on na­tional govern­ment fi­nances, in the fi­nan­cial sta­tis­tics of na­tional govern­ment re­port, shows that na­tional govern­ment spent a to­tal of R1.33 tril­lion in 2016/17. This is four per­cent higher than the R1.28 tril­lion spent in 2015/16.

The big­gest spend­ing item was fi­nan­cial grants. Not to be con­fused with so­cial grants, fi­nan­cial grants are trans­fers from one govern­ment unit to another govern­ment unit, or to an in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tion. Grants are the fi­nan­cial fuel that keeps the wheels of govern­ment turn­ing. In 2016/17, na­tional govern­ment trans­ferred R764 bil­lion

(57 per­cent of to­tal spend­ing) in the form of grants to other lev­els of govern­ment and in­ter­na­tional or­gan­i­sa­tions.

So, who are the ma­jor ben­e­fi­cia­ries of na­tional govern­ment grants?

Pro­vin­cial govern­ment re­ceived the bulk of grants in 2016/17, al­most two thirds of the R764 bil­lion. This was six per­cent more than the amount re­ceived in 2015/16.This is ex­pected, as the nine prov­inces are re­spon­si­ble for ad­min­is­ter­ing some of the core func­tions of govern­ment (for ex­am­ple, ed­u­ca­tion and health). About 14 per­cent of the fi­nan­cial grants were trans­ferred to the 257 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties. Just over 11 per­cent

(or R87 bil­lion) was paid to South Africa’s 252 ex­tra-bud­getary ac­counts and funds.

R46 bil­lion (six per­cent) was paid to for­eign or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­ter­na­tional in­sti­tu­tions. R39 bil­lion of this amount was paid to the South­ern African Cus­toms Union, which South Africa is a mem­ber of. The New De­vel­op­ment Bank, es­tab­lished by coun­tries be­long­ing to the BRICS group (Brazil, Rus­sia, In­dia, China and South Africa), re­ceived R3.5 bil­lion.

South Africa’s 26 higher ed­u­ca­tion in­sti­tu­tions re­ceived R28 bil­lion (four per­cent) of na­tional govern­ment grant trans­fers in 2016/17.

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