Fiscal centralisation in a federal state: the South African case

Stellenbosch Working Paper Series No. WP10/2012
 
Publication date: 2012
 
Author(s):
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
[protected email address] (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
 
Abstract:

The paper seeks to determine whether the observation from a constitutional law and public administration perspective, namely that a distinct centralist tendency has become evident in South Africa in recent years, is borne out by fiscal analysis as well. An overview of key legislative, policy and operational changes is combined with an investigation of fiscal trends in terms of indicators of intergovernmental fiscal relations. It is established that the South African fiscal scene has over many decades been characterised by a steady and gradual reduction of the fiscal autonomy of sub-national governments. Fiscally South Africa has become more centralised, thus strengthening the de facto erosion of the federal state.

 
JEL Classification:

H11, H77

Keywords:

Structure of government, intergovernmental fiscal relations, fiscal decentralisation, fiscal centralisation, public economics, sub-national government, local government, local fiscal autonomy, intergovernmental fiscal relations in South Africa

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BER Weekly

13 September 2021
It was a data-heavy week in SA, with the 2021Q2 real GDP data indicating that the economy had better-than-expected recovery momentum in the first half of the year. While growth remained solid in the second quarter, both the survey and actual data released last week revealed the significant impact that the range of shocks at the start of the third quarter...

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