IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/pre/wpaper/201376.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Assessing Fiscal Capacity at the Local Government Level in South Africa

Author

Listed:
  • Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu

    () (Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria, South Africa)

  • Nara Monkam

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pretoria)

Abstract

In recent years, local governments in South Africa have faced daunting challenges, notably significant service delivery backlogs, poor financial management, corruption, and poor capacity due to lack of skills. As a result, numerous municipalities are deemed to be in financial distress, and already questions have been raised concerning their capability to efficiently deliver on expected outcomes on a sustainable basis and to cope with economic shocks. In this context, South Africa has embarked upon a comprehensive review of the local government equitable share (LES) formula which constitutes the main unconditional grant that accrues to municipalities. The objective of this paper is to assess fiscal disparities across municipalities using a comprehensive approach to measuring fiscal capacity. In assessing the overall level of fiscal capacity, the paper uses the Representative Revenue System (RRS) and the Representative Expenditure System (RES) methodologies. To the best of our knowledge, such comprehensive measures of fiscal capacity at the municipal level have yet to be applied in the South African context. Additionally, the contribution of this paper lies mainly in that it provides a more systematic measure of municipal fiscal capacity that should be taken into account in the revision and improvement of the current LES formula to ensure that the LES funds are equitably distributed. Furthermore, an appropriate measure of fiscal capacities across municipalities in South Africa will provide the Municipal Demarcation Board with a tool to re-determine municipal boundaries based on objective and empirical evidence rather than political considerations.

Suggested Citation

  • Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu & Nara Monkam, 2013. "Assessing Fiscal Capacity at the Local Government Level in South Africa," Working Papers 201376, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pre:wpaper:201376
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.up.ac.za/media/shared/61/WP/wp_2013_76.zp39597.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. M. Govinda Rao, 2003. "Intergovernmental finance in South Africa: Some observations," Working Papers 03/1, National Institute of Public Finance and Policy.
    2. Robert Tannenwald & Nick Turner, 2004. "Interstate fiscal disparity in state fiscal year 1999," Public Policy Discussion Paper 04-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    3. Yesim Yilmaz & Sonya Hoo & Matthew Nagowski & Kim Rueben & Robert Tannenwald, 2006. "Measuring fiscal disparities across the U. S. states: a representative revenue system/representative expenditure system approach, fiscal year 2002," New England Public Policy Center Working Paper 06-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Fiscal capacity; Revenue capacity; Expenditure need; Revenue effort; RRS; RES;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • H71 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • H72 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - State and Local Budget and Expenditures
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pre:wpaper:201376. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Rangan Gupta). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/decupza.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.