Fiscal Renaissance in a Democratic South Africa
South Africa has overcome adverse initial conditions to achieve a remarkable fiscal transformation since the 1994 democratic elections, held amid uncertainty about its ability to maintain the rule of law and resist populist spending pressures. Constitutionally based, durable and credible fiscal reforms have contained spending and rendered policy at all levels of government more transparent and accountable, and more predictable through multi-year budgeting. Extensive tax reform and more efficient tax collection have expanded revenue, permitting lower tax rates for both individuals and companies, and personal tax relief. Fiscal consolidation almost eliminated the budget deficit by 2005, and with improved debt management, has created a lower and more sustainable debt burden. While highly centralised revenue-raising powers and greater decentralisation of expenditure to sub-national governments created a vertical fiscal imbalance, a strict no-bail-out approach helped control provincial spending. The fiscal--monetary policy mix has stabilised the macroeconomy and reduced uncertainty, reflected internationally in narrowed sovereign risk spreads and improved debt ratings. However, microservice delivery in social expenditure has been disappointing (in some cases owing to capacity constraints rather than inadequate fiscal allocations), and a long-term decline in infrastructure investment and capital stock is only belatedly receiving attention. The challenge is to increase social and infrastructure expenditure at a sustainable rate and to improve the quality of service delivery, to avoid undermining the gains in macroeconomic stability. Copyright 2007 The author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Centre for the Study of African Economies. All rights reserved. For permissions, please email: email@example.com, Oxford University Press.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 16 (2007)
Issue (Month): 5 (November)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford OX2 6DP, UK|
Phone: +44-(0)1865 271084
Fax: 01865 267 985
Web page: https://academic.oup.com/jae
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.oup.co.uk/journals|
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- S Berg, 2001. "Trends In Racial Fiscal Incidence In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 69(2), pages 243-268, June.
- Servaas van der Berg, 2007. "Apartheid's Enduring Legacy: Inequalities in Education-super- 1," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 16(5), pages 849-880, November.
- Peter Perkins & Johann Fedderke & John Luiz, 2005. "An Analysis Of Economic Infrastructure Investment In South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 73(2), pages 211-228, June.
- Stan Du Plessis & Ben Smit, 2007. "South Africa's Growth Revival After 1994," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 16(5), pages 668-704, November.