IBP considers countries that score above 60 on the Open Budget Index as providing sufficient budget information to enable the public to engage in budget discussions in an informed manner. IBP considers countries scoring above 60 on participation and oversight as providing adequate opportunities for the public to participate in the budget process and providing adequate oversight practices, respectively.
Transparency (Open Budget Index)
out of 100
South Africa provides the public with extensive budget information.
How Has the Open Budget Index Score Changed Over Time?
South Africa should prioritize the following actions to improve budget transparency:
Increase the information provided in the Executive’s Budget Proposal by including more data on the financial position of the government.
Increase the information provided in the Year-End Report by including more information on the comparisons between planned revenues and actual outcomes and comparisons between the original macroeconomic forecast and the actual outcome.
out of 100
South Africa provides few opportunities for the public to engage in the budget process.
How Does Public Participation Compare to Other Countries in the Region?
Global Average 12/100
South Africa 24/100
Recommendations for Improving Participation
South Africa should prioritize the following actions to improve public participation in its budget process:
Pilot mechanisms for members of the public and executive branch officials to exchange views on national budget matters during the monitoring of the national budget’s implementation. These mechanisms could build on innovations, such as participatory budgeting and social audits. For examples of such mechanisms, see fiscaltransparency.net/mechanisms.
Hold legislative hearings on the formulation of the annual budget, during which any members of the public or civil society organizations can testify.
Establish formal mechanisms for the public to assist the supreme audit institution in formulating its audit program and to participate in relevant audit investigations.
Budget Oversight (by Legislature & Audit)
out of 100
The legislature and supreme audit institution in South Africa provide adequate oversight of the budget.
To What Extent Does the Legislature Provide Budget Oversight?
The legislature provides adequate oversight during the budget cycle. This score reflects that the legislature provides adequate oversight during the planning stage of the budget cycle and adequate oversight during the implementation stage of the budget cycle.
To What Extent Does the Supreme Audit Institution Provide Budget Oversight?
The supreme audit institution provides adequate budget oversight.
Recommendations for Improving Oversight
South Africa should prioritize the following actions to make budget oversight more effective:
Ensure the Executive’s Budget Proposal is provided to legislators at least two months before the start of the budget year.
Ensure a legislative committee publishes a report on the Audit Report on their website.
The information on this page presents a partial country summary. For more detailed information, please download:
The findings of the OBI indicate that, to improve its national budget transparency, South Africa should increase the comprehensiveness of the Enacted Budget by presenting information on revenues and borrowing along with the expenditure information already provided.
South Africa should prioritize the following actions to improve budget participation:
Establish formal regulations that oblige the executive to engage with the public during each stage of the budget cycle.
Establish formal mechanisms for the public to assist the supreme audit institution to formulate its audit program and participate in audit investigations.
Provide detailed feedback on how public assistance and participation has been used by the supreme audit institution.
South Africa should prioritize the following action to strengthen budget oversight:
Ensure the Executive’s Budget Proposal is provided to legislators at least three months before the start of the budget year.
 For further recommendations beyond central budget transparency in South Africa, see the full country summary.