The proper management of public finances in South Africa is regulated both in terms of the Constitution and specific legislation.
At the national and provincial level, public finance management is governed by the Public Finance Management Act as well as the Treasury Regulations and various briefing and instructions notes issued by National Treasury. At the municipal level, the primary legislation is the Municipal Financial Management Act and the regulations published in terms of that Act. These legal regimes apply not only to government in the narrow sense (i.e. government departments and municipalities) but also to public entities, which include state-owned companies, regulatory or service-delivery agencies, and municipal entities.
Our team of public law experts has extensive experience in advising public and private sector clients on the various requirements in respect of public finances, including: the appropriation of public funds; the fiduciary duties of accounting officers and accounting authorities; the obligations of government and public-sector employees in respect of financial management; the process for public procurement and provisioning as well as public-private partnerships; unauthorised, irregular and wasteful expenditure; and the requisite approvals for various transactions, including the formation of companies, asset transfers and the issuing of government guarantees, indemnities and securities.