NATIONAL NEWS - The South African government spent R1.79 trillion in 2018/19, according to the latest financial statistics released.
This roughly translates to about R31,000 per person spent during that financial year if one calculates it according to South Africa’s population of 57.9 million people.
General government includes all national and provincial government departments, municipalities, extra-budgetary accounts and funds, and higher education institutions.
A recent release from Stats SA provides a breakdown of financial data from all 708 institutions in government, and an overview of what government spent money on in 2018/19, with focus on the public service wage bill.
According to Stats SA:
* Government spends more money on police services than it does on tertiary education or housing
* Defence accounts for 3% of total spending
* On the social front, slightly more money was spent on old age grants than on grants related to family and children (child support, foster care and care dependency grants)
* Environmental protection is one of the smallest items, accounting for 0,8% of total expenditure
* Executive and legislative services account for 11%. This function includes costs mainly related to the administration of parliament, the provincial legislatures and mayoral offices
* For every R10 of total government spending in 2018/19, R1 was used on debt payments, including interest payments on debt. This was more than what was spent on housing, hospitals, tertiary education or police.
* Compensation of employees accounted for R694-billion or 41,9% of total government expenses in 2018/19. This was followed by purchases of goods and services (21,3%) and social benefits (13,6%)