Government spent R202bn on economy in 2012

The government injected more than R202 billion into the economy last year, Statistics SA said on Wednesday.

Total spending by public sector institutions increased from R181bn in 2011 to R202bn last year, Statistician General Pali Lehohla told reporters in Pretoria at the release of a survey on public sector spending.

The bulk of the money — R137bn — went into new construction projects, while R38bn was spent on plant, machinery and equipment.

“The figures show that municipalities were under-spending on vital equipment related to service delivery,” Lehohla said.

Over the five-year period 2008 to 2012, the amount spent by public sector institutions on new construction projects more than doubled, from R68bn to R137bn.

Total capital spending on plant, machinery and equipment by public sector institutions increased from R24bn in 2011 to R38bn last year.

Lehohla said there was a correlation between bulk infrastructure and service delivery.

“Service delivery is influenced by long-term infrastructure, but municipalities are not investing adequately in equipment and machinery,” he said.

“Employment-related costs in municipalities continue to grow, but there is no spending on equipment and machinery. This raises the question, who is doing the work?”

Municipalities increased their spending on new construction projects over the five-year period from R25bn in 2008 to R31bn last year.

Between 2011 and 2012, municipalities grew their spending on new construction projects from R28bn to R31bn.

Government spending on roads, streets, and bridges rose from R5.9bn to R14.5bn last year, and was expected to reach R21.7bn in 2015.

A total of R2bn was spent on sewerage and sanitation in 2011. That fell to R1.9bn last year. However, this expenditure was expected to increase to R8.9bn in 2015.

Public sector institutions spent R2.9bn on electricity in 2011. That swelled to R3.6bn last year. Spending on electricity was expected to increase to R8.6bn.

Capital expenditure by KwaZulu-Natal public institutions expanded from R6.1bn in 2011 to R7.1bn last year. The increase was due to spending on road repairs, upgrades, and maintenance. Public institutions also spent a significant budget on building schools in rural areas in the province.

Gauteng saw capital spending increase from R2bn in 2011 to R2.7bn last year, largely due to road upgrades and rehabilitation.

Western Cape capital spending increased from R2.9bn in 2011 to R3.2bn last year because of an increase in spending on new schools, health facilities, and construction of secure care centres.

Limpopo had a marginal increase in capital expenditure from R2.6bn in 2011 to R2.7bn last year. Most of it went to construction and upgrades of schools.

Capital expenditure in the Eastern Cape increased from R2.2bn in 2011 to R3.4bn last year.

Mpumalanga also enjoyed a rise in capital expenditure from R1.9bn in 2011 to R2.7bn last year.

Free State capital expenditure swelled from R1.4bn in 2011 to R2.4bn last year. The North West saw an increase from R1.5bn to R1.7bn.

Northern Cape capital spending increased from R1bn to R1.5bn.