Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Drop in capital expenditure

For the first time in more than a decade, public institutions are spending less, according to the latest capital expenditure figures released by Statistics South Africa this week.

Capital expenditure is money spent on acquiring, maintaining or improving assets such as land, buildings, vehicles and equipment.

Public expenditure decreased by 4.3% because of a reduction in spending on fixed assets by 360 of the 751 public-sector institutions in the previous year. Total capital expenditure fell by R12-billion from R283.3-billion in 2016 to R271.2-billion in 2017.

The biggest contributor to the decline was Transnet, which spent R25.4-billion in 2017 on fixed assets, a R8.2-billion fall from R33.6-billion in 2016. But it still remained one of the two biggest spenders, accounting for 9% of the public capital expenditure bill.

Top place went to Eskom, which accounted for 28% of the total bill and saw an increase in its capital expenditure, “mainly on the power generation projects at Kusile and on new electricity distribution programmes nationwide,” StatsSA said. Eskom spent R75.7-billion in 2017 compared with R73-billion in 2016.

A breakdown of the R271.2-billion in capital expenditure shows that, of the top three spending areas, just under 70% of it was on new construction, machinery and equipment.

Tebogo Tshwane is an Adamela Trust business journalist at the Mail & Guardian

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Tebogo Tshwane
Tebogo Tshwane

Tebogo Tshwane is an Adamela Trust financial journalism trainee at the Mail & Guardian. She was previously a general news intern at Eyewitness News and a current affairs show presenter at the Voice of Wits FM. Tshwane is passionate about socioeconomic issues and understanding how macroeconomic activities affect ordinary people. She holds a journalism honours degree from Wits University. 

Related stories


Subscribers only

Despite promises, medical interns at 2 Military Hospital remain unpaid

The interns were told they would receive salaries at the end of April, but that did not happen

Khoikhoi versus US giant Amazon

The controversial River Club development gets the go-ahead, but opponents say they are heading for court

More top stories

Ipid report clears cops of misconduct for use of water...

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate found no misconduct was committed by police who used a water cannon on a crowd outside the Sassa office in Bellville, Cape Town

Cape winter storm causes two deaths, 57 families evacuated

The winter storm that made landfall on Wednesday morning and caused widespread damage is not yet over

Case of municipal manager who got luxury gifts for depositing...

Tsakane Ngobeni received holidays, expensive watches and beauty treatments from another VBS Mutual Bank accused

Ramaphosa tells party caucus he was ‘shocked’ by Magashule’s suspension...

Magashule’s letter, in which he refused to step aside, said he would be appealing his suspension and added that he was “suspending” Ramaphosa. The letter is said to have angered the president.

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…