South Africa’s National Treasury manages national economic policy, is responsible for managing South Africa’s national government finances and preparing the annual national budget. It falls in the portfolio of the Minister of Finance, as does the South African Revenue Service and Statistics South Africa. Its role is defined by the Constitution and in the Public Finance Management Act.
Roles and responsibilities
The National Treasury plays a pivotal role in the management of government expenditure, setting financial management norms and standards for state departments, monitoring their performance and reporting any deviations to the Auditor-General. The Treasury also acts as a banker for national government departments; sets and maintains treasury norms and standards to ensure transparency and expenditure control in each sphere of government; and oversees logistical control of stocks and assets. The Treasury supports the government’s macro-economic policy by determining macro limits on expenditure by departments, in line with affordability and sustainability of services. These limits guide and are matched with departments’ budget proposals for the following financial year.
Managing of public finances
Transforming public-sector financial management is one of National Treasury’s key objectives. To this end, National Treasury has been implementing the Public Finance Management Act since April 2000. The Act has changed the approach to the way in which public funds are managed by introducing a less rigid environment for financial management, with a stronger emphasis on the prudent use of state resources, improved reporting requirements and the use of management information to enhance accountability.