Spending Reviews bring to light the links between policy development and implementation, through providing a better understanding of the institutional landscape, policy, cost and budgetary implications. A better understanding of departments’ baselines assists in finding savings in existing expenditure, as well as proposing savings and efficiencies in medium term budgets. By analysing and understanding how money is spent in institutions or facilities, as well as on existing implementation programmes, a strong empirical base for clear recommendations to decision-makers is developed.

The resources listed below will assist you to quickly access examples of previous national and provincial spending reviews, as well as infographics summarising the review in one page.


Technical Spending Reviews

The NAWONGO court case affects the way provincial DSDs fund social welfare services provided by NPOs, and the PER sought to quantify the gap between existing spending and spending levels that would comply with the judgement. Between 2012/13 and 2016/17, spending by provincial DSDs rose from R12 billion to R17.8 billion, an increase of 9.7% a year. Over that period provincial DSDs spending on social welfare services rose from R8.6 billion to R11.5 billion, an increase of 7.5% a year. Of these funds, subsidies paid to NPOs rose from just over R3 billion in 2012/13 to R3.7 billion in 2016/17, an increase of 5.2% — a much slower rate. Funding levels for social welfare services are low, constituting about 2.3% of provinces’ aggregate budgets. Spending in 2016/17 averaged at about R342 per poor person in the provinces, though there were substantial inequalities in spending, with the Western Cape averaging R622 per poor person and Limpopo averaging only R220. The PER suggests that implementing the NAWONGO judgement for all services currently provided would necessitate an additional R9.2 billion.

The current model of welfare delivery is to use non-governmental organisations to provide welfare services. South Africa has approximately 25 000 individual welfare organisations (and 50 000 non-welfare NPOs). Government allocates about R2.3 billion to these welfare organisations, and some also raise funds from private donors. An extensive registration and monitoring regime is needed to ensure that they function as required and spend government money appropriately; the current regime costs the national and provincial departments of social welfare about R250 million. The national Department of Social Welfare has promulgated a set of regulations on the administration and monitoring of welfare services that, if fully implemented, would cost about R1.1 billion. By combining the currently separate registration processes, eliminating forced reregistration, and being more pragmatic about inspection processes (e.g. using auxiliary social workers) the study proposed savings of R614 million, and suggests that a combined budget of R427 million would be sufficient to ensure proper oversight.

A PER of government’s efforts to improve nutrition for children below the age of five was commissioned to understand the cost and impact of the many programmes that contribute to this goal. However, a number of challenges emerged in conducting this PER which, collectively made it impossible to assess properly the extent of public spending on child nutrition, much less its effectiveness. From the available information, it is evident that the largest single government programme addressing child malnutrition is the Child Support Grant. Notwithstanding some of the challenges of accessing data, a costing model was developed, on the basis of which it is possible to estimate what it would cost to implement the INS based on a range of variables. The PER estimates that government needs to spend about R13.1 billion a year on interventions to address malnutrition among young children.

Student Spending Reviews