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In 2013, the National Treasury, in partnership with the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, initiated a series of performance and expenditure reviews (PERs) of selected public programmes or policies. Projects were chosen on the basis of recommen​​dations by the Ministers’ Committee on the Budget (a sub-committee of Cabinet), and officials of DPME and National Treasury.​ PERs involve the close scrutiny of both expenditure and programme performance data, and are widely used internationally for quantifying, assessing and improving the cost effectiveness of public policy and the cost-effectiveness of public spending. They are also used to cost the implications of legislative changes and policy choices.  R​ead more....​​

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Performance Expenditure Reviews: Technical Documents and Cost Models​​​

  
  
Summary
Housing Programmatic Comparison.pdfHousing Programmatic Comparison

The promise of better housing has been a central plank of public policy since 1994. To this end, the government has provided public finance for a range of housing programmes, collectively dubbed ‘RDP housing’. These programmes aim to establish communities and neighbourhoods with access to healthcare, education and other social amenities. One of their basic components is the construction of permanent homes with security of tenure, which provide privacy, protection against the elements, and access to potable water, sanitation and energy.  

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Rapid Verification of Informal Settlements.pdfRapid Verification of Informal Settlements

The Informal Settlements Service Delivery Rapid Verification Study is not a typical performance and expenditure review (PER). It was commissioned by the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency in December 2013 in order to help assess the extent to which government could rely on data prepared and presented by various departments about the delivery of services to communities and households living in informal settlements after it was reported that the target set for service delivery had been achieved. The target had been to provide 400 000 households with upgraded services (in situ or greenfield) and security of tenure between April 2010 and February 2014. The aim of the study was to assess the reliability of the data from various departments underpinning these claims. ​​  

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Social Housing.pdfSocial Housing

TIncreased access to rental accommodation in South Africa’s cities has long been recognised as a national priority. Many people cannot afford property in the urban cores, where land prices are high partly because these areas are near workplaces and urban amenities. Rental accommodation also serves people who do not wish to establish permanent ties to their places of work, preferring to see other places – whether in the countryside or elsewhere in the city – as their homes. However, many of those most in need of rented accommodation in the city cannot pay the rents that would make the construction of new housing stock of this kind commercially viable. But they also often belong to households whose incomes exceed the RDP housing subsidy limit. To avoid the permanent exclusion of these households from the core of the cities, public subsidies for the provision of appropriate rental housing are needed. This is the goal of the social housing programme. ​

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Water Services Delivery Chain.pdfWater Services Delivery Chain

Although significant progress has been made in providing water to households and communities who had no access to these services before 1994, sizeable backlogs remain. According to the 2011 census, 2.2 million households still lack access to the RDP-standard water supply, and over 5 million households (or 33%) experience problems with their supply. Growth in sectors such as agriculture, mining and energy also depends heavily on reliable access to water.

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Public Transport in Metros.pdfPublic Transport in Metros

South Africa’s approach to the provision of public transport is encapsulated in the Public Transport Strategy and Action Plan (2007) and the National Land Transport Act (2009). Together, these envisage city-wide, fully integrated, multi-modal, mass rapid public transport networks delivered and managed largely by local governments. The aim is to shift the delivery of public transport away from the present model, which is based on operator-controlled, commuter-based, unimodal routes.​​  

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MAFISA.pdfMAFISA

​The Micro Agricultural Financial Institutions of South Africa (MAFISA) programme was launched as a pilot project in three provinces in 2004/05. Its goal was to provide small, short- and medium-term loans to small-scale farmers to expand production, particularly in communal land areas and on smallholdings with a variety of tenure systems.  MAFISA’s approach was to channel funds appropriated to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) through the Land Bank to established financial intermediaries who would make loans of up to R500 000 to farmers. The programme’s rules meant that the bulk of borrowed funds were to be used to pay suppliers of agricultural equipment and other inputs. MAFISA loan agreements stipulated that financial intermediaries generally would not pay the borrowed funds to the beneficiary, but would pay the suppliers of approved inputs and services directly.

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Land Restitution.pdfLand Restitution

South Africa’s land restitution programmes date back to the Restitution Act in 1994 and the opening of the land claims process in 1995. The aim was to return a significant proportion of land forcibly taken from individuals and communities after the passage of the 1913 Land Act, and the Commission of Restitution of Land Rights was established to undertake this process. Eligible claimants were given three years from 1 May 1995 to lodge claims, which was later extended to 31 December 1998. By that point, around 60 000 claims had been lodged, some of which were for more than one property.   Read More​

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Biofuels.pdfBiofuels

The biofuels regulatory framework aims to encourage the production of biofuel on a commercial scale by establishing transparent criteria for selecting biofuel manufacturing projects. To achieve a 2% penetration of biofuels into the local transport fuel pool, an incentive scheme was announced in 2013 that will provide a guaranteed return on assets of 15% to an efficient biofuels producer. It is hoped that the commercial production of biofuels will stimulate significant economic development and employment in the agriculturalsector. The fiscal production incentive for biofuels will be funded by a biofuels levy on all petrol and diesel sold for domestic consumption. The level of the incentive required to generate the 15% return on assets in an indicative efficient biofuels plant will be determined on a monthly basis via a biofuels incentive model. Should a biofuels manufacturer’s return on assets exceed 20%, a ‘claw-back’ would come into effect, in terms of which it would pay the ‘excessive’ profits back to the subsidy scheme

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National Skills Fund (NSF).pdfNational Skills Fund (NSF)

One of apartheid’s most malign legacies is educational, both basic and post-school. As a result, government devotes a considerable share of its resources – about 20% of public spending – to education and skills development. One vehicle through which post-school education and training is financed is the National Skills Fund (NSF), which was established in terms of the Skills Development Act of 1998. The NSF is funded through the skills development levy, a payroll tax introduced by the Skills Development Levies Act of 2000 to encourage learning and development in the workplace. It receives about 20% of the levy; the rest is allocated to Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs). These resources fund training programmes, institutional capacity building, and research in the post-school education and training sector.   Read More​

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Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).pdfTechnical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges, formerly known as Further Education and Training (FET) colleges, provide education to two groups of people: learners pursuing vocation-focused schooling rather than a traditional matric, and those who have completed their schooling and seek a tertiary qualification but who do not qualify for university entrance 

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National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).pdfNational Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)

The main purpose of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) is to enable young people from poor households to obtain a higher education. This is essential for expanding South Africa’s skills base and a powerful mechanism for breaking the intergenerational cycle of household poverty and exclusion. Tertiary education is unaffordable for most households (see Figure 1). While the average full cost of study for a single year at university was about R28 000 in 2003, this figure was three times greater than the incomes of households in the poorest 20% of the population. It was also more than 30% greater than the annual incomes of households in the second poorest quintile, and just 20% less than the total income of households in the middle 20%. In 2003, in other words, none of the poorest 50% of households could realistically afford to send a child to university. ​ 

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Post School Education and Training (PSET).pdfPost School Education and Training (PSET)

Post-school education and training (PSET) is critical to South Africa’s future socio-economic development. It dramatically improves the employment prospects of young people and raises their incomes from such employment. In addition, broadening the skills base would be socially and economically transformative, and promote economic and employment growth. A primary goal of the PSET system has been to increase access to higher education and skills training. Government has expanded the capacity of the universities and the technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges, while also increasing funding for workplace training. University enrolment has grown rapidly, but enrolment at TVET colleges has grown even faster. The main mechanism for increasing access to the PSET system for young people from poor households has been the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), which has grown significantly. ​

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In-Service Training of Teachers (INSET).pdfIn-Service Training of Teachers (INSET)

To enhance the quality of teaching and the outcomes of the basic education system, the national Department of Basic Education (DBE) developed a plan for the in-service training of teachers (INSET). The goal is to deepen their subject expertise as well as their pedagogical knowledge. The Integrated Strategic Planning Framework for Teacher Education and Development in South Africa emerged from extensive research and collaboration among a range of stakeholders, including provincial education departments, academics and teacher unions. It specifies what educators should know, and having established the nature of the gaps, identifies suitable institutions to provide the required training. The policy proposals are extensive and will require substantial public resources to implement.  

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SEDA Technology Incubators.pdfSEDA Technology Incubators

Small, medium and microenterprises (SMMEs) can play a crucial role in stimulating long-term economic growth and creating jobs. Government therefore offers a range of services to support entrepreneurship and innovation in SMMEs, under the auspices of departments such as Trade and Industry (DTI), Science and Technology, and Small Business Development. Incubation programmes are an important form of support to existing and aspiring SMME entrepreneurs, who get access to both basic services (e.g. physical space, infrastructure and shared services) and advanced services (e.g. networking opportunities, access to specialised knowledge, and access to finance). Incubation programmes aim to improve the early-stage survival and long-term growth prospects of SMMEs, to ensure that they remain sustainable for more than three years after graduating from the incubator support.  ​ 

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Science Councils.pdfScience Councils

Public research institutions (PRIs), such as science councils, play a pivotal role in fostering innovation and technological progress. They typically conduct fundamental and applied industrial research, participate in the experimental development of innovative technologies, and provide training, consulting and other services. Their results are disseminated through publications, training and technology transfer.  

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Industrial Development Zones.pdfIndustrial Development Zones

Industrial development zones (IDZs) or special economic zones (SEZs) are specific geographical areas in a country where certain economic activities are promoted through a set of policy measures not generally applicable to the rest of the country. Using policies and programmes to create favourable conditions for foreign investment, IDZs seek to overcome obstacles to the development of a competitive, export-oriented economy. The success of SEZs in East Asia, particularly China, led the South African government to pursue the development of such zones as part of its industrial policy. The IDZ programme was formalised in 2000, and three IDZs are currently in operation: Coega, East London and Richards Bay. Since inception, these have cost government R8.8 billion.   

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Nutrition and Food Security for Children.pdfNutrition and Food Security for Children

In the mid-1990s, government introduced the Integrated Nutrition Programme. It aimed to improve the health of the poor by delivering a range of nutrition-specific interventions (e.g. vitamin supplementation, deworming, and nutrition education) and complementary interventions (e.g. the provision of water, sanitation and income support to indigent households). However, malnutrition remains a significant challenge. The most recent data shows that one in four children aged 1–3 years are stunted, which is higher than in countries with comparable levels of income. Malnutrition contributes to the relatively high levels of sickness and death among children: of the children who died before age 5 in 2008, more than 60% were underweight and 30% were severely malnourished. 

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Provincial Roads.pdfProvincial Roads

The main purpose of this performance and expenditure review (PER) was to understand how much is being spent on provincial roads, what drives this expenditure, and what is being delivered. The aim was to identify where spending might be inefficient, which could inform policy decisions and improve value for money. The PER aimed to analyse the unit cost per kilometre of provincial roads, taking into account the different costs structures across provinces due to topographical, climatic, soil and other differences.

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Artisan Development.pdfArtisan Development

There is wide agreement that South Africa produces too few artisans to meet the needs of the economy and that improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the artisan development system is important for accelerating growth and reducing unemployment. Indeed, the National Development Plan (NDP) sets a target of producing 30 000 artisans a year by 2030, which would be more than double the number of artisans who graduated in 2013. (This was already considerably higher than the low point of 2005, when only 4 500 artisans graduated.)   

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Foreign Missions Cost Drivers.pdfForeign Missions Cost Drivers

​South Africa’s foreign missions play a pivotal role in maintaining diplomatic relationships with the rest of the world; facilitating international trade, investment and tourism; and strengthening political and social ties with host countries. They raise awareness of the country’sforeign policy and articulate its position in global and regional multilateral forums.

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Critical Skills Immigration Policy.pdfCritical Skills Immigration Policy

In many developed countries, people with scarce skills receive preferential treatment in the immigration process and some are even proactively sourced, as skilled immigrants help accelerate growth and create jobs. In South Africa, the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) intends to shift the formal immigration policy from trying to protect domestic workers to seeking actively to alleviate the country’s skills shortages. This is in line with the National Development Plan, which set a target of 50 000 scarce-skill visas to be issued by 2030. In terms of DHA policy, foreign workers with scarce skills may apply for a category of work visa called critical skills visas (CSVs).

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Government Rental Office Accommodation.pdfGovernment Rental Office Accommodation

Government departments lease much of their office accommodation from private landlords, with national departments incurring around R3 billion a year in rental expenses. The South African Police Service, which is the largest national department and has the largest geographical footprint, incurs about a quarter of this total.  

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Language Services.pdfLanguage Services

Historically, English and Afrikaans have been the dominant languages of academia, commerce, government and public life in South Africa, while indigenous languages have been marginalised. For the vast majority of South Africans who are not mother-tongue speakers of English or Afrikaans, language poses a formidable barrier to accessing quality education, socio-economic opportunities, full participation in public life, and the realisation of their potential. Chapter 1 of the Constitution recognises 11 official languages, all of which are equally esteemed and must be treated equitably. The state is constitutionally required to take practical and positive measures to elevate the status and use of all these languages.​

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Social Welfare NPOs.pdfSocial Welfare NPOs

The current model of social welfare delivery is largely based on non-profit organisations (NPOs). These provide a range of services, including residential services for older persons, partial-care facilities for children, child protection facilities, child- and youth care centres, as well as early childhood development centres. In 2008 (the most recent year for which data was available), there were 6 210 early childhood development centres and 2 705 other social welfare facilities. Of the latter, 98% of the facilities were operated by NPOs, providing services to 72% of the sector’s clients.

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National School of Government (NSG).pdfNational School of Government (NSG)

The National School of Government (NSG) was established by the Public Administration Management Act of 2014 as a dedicated,specialised training institution for civil servants. Its mandate is to deliver quality education, training and development to equip civil servants with the values, skills and knowledge necessary for entry into and career progression within the public service. 

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PER Placemat - Methodology​per_large.gif

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Disclaimer:

The Performance Expenditure Reviews were conducted by a team of specialist consultants, guided by a project steering committee that included representatives of the relevant departments. Government regards the PE​Rs as advisory submissions, based on available evidence, and not necessarily reflecting its views or assessments of the issues addressed. ​

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