Treasury welcomes IMF report ranking SA top 3 in fiscal transparency

16th April 2024 By: Sashnee Moodley - Senior Deputy Editor Polity and Multimedia

Treasury welcomes IMF report ranking SA top 3 in fiscal transparency

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) Fiscal Transparency Evaluation Report has placed South Africa in the top three countries in terms of transparent fiscal practices, which National Treasury has welcomed.

In July 2023, the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) undertook a Fiscal Transparency Evaluation, at the request of National Treasury. Interviews were conducted with Treasury senior staff, government ministries, parliamentary committees, the Reserve Bank, civil society organisations, development partners, and Eskom.

“South Africa has many elements of sound fiscal transparency practices. Based on an assessment of fiscal transparency practices against the IMF’s Fiscal Transparency Code, South Africa's practices are strongest in fiscal reporting, followed by fiscal forecasting and budgeting, and weakest in fiscal risk analysis. There is room to improve South Africa’s fiscal reporting, budget transparency and management of fiscal risks,” the IMF report said.

Treasury noted the need to improve in specific areas and said work in these was in progress.

The IMF suggested that South Africa could improve its fiscal reporting by including other spheres of the public sector, strengthening tax expenditure disclosure, and improving adherence to audit timelines for published financial statements, all of which will align with international best practices.

Further, it urged South Africa to implement precise, time-bound and stable fiscal rules, and to enhance analysis of risks in the fiscal risk statement, regularly publish public-private partnership financial data, consolidate transfers to State-owned companies to show fiscal impact and set limits on government guarantees.

“Work is underway on all these areas. Government is committed to addressing these areas to enhance fiscal credibility and ensure continued transparency and accountability in the management of public finances,” Treasury said.

Download the report here