The South African economy has averaged about 3% growth a year since 2009. Against the background of the slowdown in the global economy, real gross domestic product (GDP) growth is expected to fall to about 2,7% in 2012.
In the Budget Speech in February 2012, the Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan, announced that government expected a recovery to 3,6% and 4,2% growth in 2013 and 2014. The deficiton the current account of the balance of payments is expected to widen from 3,3% in 2011 to 4,4% GDP in 2014.
National Treasury aims to promote economic development, good governance, social progress and rising living standards through accountable, economic, efficient, equitable and sustainable management of South Africa's public finances.
The department endeavours to advance economic growth, Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE), progressive realisation of human rights and the elimination of poverty. It is responsible for preparing a sound and sustainable national budget and equitable division of resources among the three spheres of government. It strives to raise fiscal resources equitably and efficiently and manage government's financial assets and liabilities, promoting transparency and effective financial management.
The Constitution stipulates a framework for the division of responsibilities between national, provincial and local government. It prescribes an equitable division of revenue between the spheres of government, taking into account their respective functions.
It has also created an independent Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) and an independent central bank, the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), and sets out the principles governing financialaccountability to Parliament, as well as the annual budget process.
Relevant sections in the Constitution include:
- General financial matters
- National Revenue Fund
- Equitable shares and allocations of revenue
- National, provincial and municipal budgets
- Treasury control
- Government guarantees
- Remuneration of persons holding public office
- Financial and Fiscal Commission
- Establishment and functions
- Appointments and tenure of members
- Central bank
- Primary object
- Powers and functions
- Provincial and local financial matters
- Provincial Revenue Funds
- National sources of provincial and local government funding
- Provincial taxes
- Municipal fiscal powers and functions
- Provincial and municipal loans
Source: South Africa Yearbook 2011/12
Editor: D Burger. Government Communication and Information System