Intergovernmental Fiscal Relations in South Africa and the Role of the Financial and Fiscal Commission - A 20 Year Review

On 11 August 2014, Prof Jaap de Visser, Director of the Community Law Centre presented a paper at the Financial and Fiscal Commission’s 20 Year Anniversary at the CTICC in Cape Town. The paper was co-authored by Dr Zemelak Ayele, post-doctoral researcher at the Centre.

The topic of the paper was a review of 20 years of the Financial and Fiscal Commission’s work. Prof De Visser and Dr Ayele discussed three themes, namely (1) the evolution of the location of the Commission in the intergovernmental fiscal framework, (2) the impact that it has had on intergovernmental finances and (3) the internal governance and performance of the Commission.

They concluded that the Commission has made a tremendous contribution to stabilising intergovernmental finances, particularly in its formative years (1994-1997) and it continues to play a critical role. However, they also pointed out that the impact of the FFC seems to be less visible now. National government only responds to a small percentage of the Commission's recommendations, for example. They also discussed the problems associated with the conflation of the position of Chairperson and accounting officer of the Commission and a range of other challenges and achievements.

The paper and the presentation are available here.