South Africa. UNICEF South Africa

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1 South Africa UNICEF South Africa Education BUDGET SOUTH AFRICA 2017/2018 1

2 17% Budget for school children remains at 17% of total government expenditure Preface This budget brief is one of four that explore the extent to which the national budget and social services sector budgets address the needs of children under 18 years in South Africa. The briefs analyse the size and composition of budget allocations for the fiscal year 2017/18, as well as offer insights into the efficiency, effectiveness, equity and adequacy of past spending. Their main objectives are to synthesise complex budget information so that it is easily understood by stakeholders, and to present key messages to inform financial decision-making processes. Key Messages and Recommendations Overall spending trends: Spending on the combined national and provincial basic education (or consolidated basic education) budget for school children remains at 17 per cent of total government expenditure, but there are concerns about the lack of growth in education expenditures over the medium term. The government is encouraged to: 1. Protect spending on priority programmes such as early childhood education, the national school nutrition programme, the no-fee school allocation, support for public special school education, and infrastructure spending in the most disadvantaged areas; 2. Keep key stakeholders informed about plans and actions to spend existing resources in the most effective manner. UNICEF/L Marinovich Composition of spending: The higher education and training vote is projected to grow by 3 per cent on average in real terms over the present Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (). This far outpaces corresponding growth in the consolidated basic education budget. The government is thus encouraged to: 1. Ensure that children benefit from increased higher education spending by increasing the number of Mathematics, Science and English teachers to be trained at tertiary institutions; 2. Convince the national and provincial decision makers that real cuts to expenditures in school education should not be an option. Decentralisation and the equity of spending: Per-pupil spending in the poorest provinces remains a concern. The government is encouraged to: 1. Reform the provincial education allocation formula so that it explicitly considers the poverty of learners, given the high costs of educating poor learners; 2. Build understanding among stakeholders that changes in national allocation formulae do not automatically translate into better funding for basic education services. Financing the education sector: There is growing evidence that the government is making progress to tackle financial barriers to poor children s education. Nonetheless, the government is encouraged to: 1. Investigate whether the present per-pupil allocation (inclusive of personnel), especially for poor learners and schools, is adequate to improve the quality of education; 2. Support more in-depth research to better understand variable academic outcomes among similarly poor schools. 2

3 Section 1. Introduction UNICEF South Africa The responsibility for providing and delivering education services is shared between the national and provincial government. The schooling system (public and private) caters for children between the ages of 5 and 17 years, 1 which includes a Reception Year (prior to Grade 1) and a final formal schooling year (Grade 12). The Department of Basic Education (DBE) is the national department responsible for policy-making and coordination for the schooling sector, while nine provincial education departments finance and implement national policy for this sector. The Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) provides post-schooling opportunities at the tertiary level (universities), adult education programmes, and technical and vocational qualifications that straddle the schooling and post-schooling levels. The two central documents that guide the development and implementation of basic education policy are the National Development Plan 2030 (NDP), 2 which sets quantitative goals for the schooling sector and the DBE s own strategic plan, namely Action Plan to 2019: Towards the Realisation of Schooling The latter document contains the actual learning outcomes to be achieved and the processes for achieving these goals. Some of the key goals to be realised by 2030 include: Ensure universal access to one phase of Early Childhood Development (ECD), namely Grade R (Reception Year prior to Grade 1); Ninety per cent of children in Grades 3, 6 and 9 achieve 50 per cent or more in Annual National Assessments; Improve South Africa s ranking in international comparative standardised tests by providing performance benchmarks; Eradicate all infrastructure backlogs by 2030; Ensure that all schools are funded at least at the minimum per-learner levels determined nationally, and that funds are utilised transparently and effectively. Table 1: Key indicators on the health of the education system, Pupil-teacher ratio, Gender parity index (primary and secondary school attendance), Average performance in Grade 9 Mathematics in TIMMS at the low performance benchmark level (set at points), 2015 Average performance in Grade 9 Science in TIMMS at the low performance benchmark level (set at points), Percentage of learners who benefit from the no-fee school funding policy, % Percentage of schools who benefit from the no-fee school funding policy, % Percentage of learners with access to the national school nutrition programme, % 3

4 Figure 1: Basic education sector performance, 2013 to 2015 (%) % of learners attending public schools who benefited from the school nutrition programme % of learners who did not pay school fees % of 7 15 year olds walking to school for more than 30 minutes % of 0 4 year olds attended ECD Percentage Source: DBE 2017 and General Household Surveys 2015 and 2016 Takeaways: The number of learners who attend no-fee schools should be maintained and expanded where possible, but this should not supersede quality considerations. The school nutrition programme has achieved impressive coverage and is benefiting large numbers of poor children. This programme should be gradually extended to all poor secondary schools. The DBE needs to capitalise on the existing favourable policy environment to promote and universalise early childhood education. UNICEF/Bart de Ruigh 4

5 Section 2. Education Spending Trends Size of Spending Table 2 shows that the national Department of Basic Education and the nine provincial education budgets are projected to spend more than R230 billion on basic education in 2017/18. When transfers to provincial education budgets are removed from the budget of the national Department of Basic Education, the national department consumes less than UNICEF/Bart de Ruigh 3 per cent of these overall resources for school education. In addition to the conditional grant transfers to provincial education departments, the Department of Basic Education invests in spending that goes directly to schools in provinces (for example, the national workbooks), although the magnitude of this spending is substantially smaller than the conditional grants. Table 2: Summary of nominal national and provincial basic education budgets, 2017/18 (ZAR 000) Department National Provincial % of total National Basic Education 23,408, % National Basic Education transfer to provinces -17,154,300 Combined provincial education budgets 223,892,357 Eastern Cape 32,989, % Free State 12,739, % Gauteng 40,843, % KwaZulu-Natal 47,444, % Limpopo 28,783, % Mpumalanga 19,322, % Northern Cape 5,857, % North West 15,281, % Western Cape 20,629, % Consolidated Basic Education Budget 230,146, % Source: Estimates of National Expenditure 2017 and Estimates of Provincial Revenue and Expenditure 2017 Consolidated basic education as a share of consolidated government expenditure is set to decline from 17.7 per cent in 2016/17 to 16.7 per cent in 2019/20. Over the same period, consolidated basic education expenditure constitutes between 4.7 and 4.9 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). 5

6 Figure 2: Consolidated basic education expenditure as percentage of consolidated government expenditure 5 and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 2013/14 to 2019/ Percentage / / / /17 Revised estimate 2017/ / /20 Basic education as a % of government expenditure Basic education as a % of GDP Source: Estimates of National Expenditure 2017, Estimates of Provincial Revenue and Expenditure 2017 and Budget Review 2017 Spending Changes The historically high level of spending on basic education is declining, as can be seen in Figure 3 below. Expenditure on consolidated basic education budgets is not projected to grow above inflation over the present medium term. Over the present period (2016/17 to 2019/20), consolidated basic education budgets are projected to decline in real terms by 0.1 per cent on average. The aggregate trends convey an accurate sense of the squeeze on basic education spending and allocations and warrant a closer examination of isolated growth areas in the basic education budget. Figure 3: Nominal and inflation-adjusted consolidated basic education spending and allocation trends, 2013/14 to 2019/20 (ZAR billion): 2016/17=100 ZAR billion / / / /17 Revised estimate 2017/ / /20 Basic education (real) Basic education (nominal) Source: Estimates of National Expenditure 2017 and Estimates of Provincial Revenue and Expenditure

7 Figure 4: Social service sectors as a percentage of consolidated government expenditure, 2013/14 to 2018/19 Percentage of consolidated government expenditure Other Public order and safety Economic affairs Health Social development Basic education 2013/ / / /17 Revised estimate 2017/ / /20 Source: Estimates of National Expenditure 2017 and Estimates of Provincial Revenue and Expenditure 2017 The Priority of Basic Education in the Budget Figure 4 shows that while the consolidated basic education share of consolidated government resources is set to decline from 17.8 per cent in 2013/14 to 16.7 per cent by the end of the, the shares of the social development and health functions remain stable over the period above. In 2017/18 alone, the three largest social service sector votes account for more than 44 per cent of consolidated government expenditure. The stability of the key social services sectors enabled the government to expand provision for higher education and training, especially the university sector due to the Fees Must Fall campaign. Figure 5 demonstrates that basic education as a percentage of GDP is high when comparing South Africa to other middleincome countries and global averages. This demonstrates that the government has a strong commitment to investing in education, but that more should be done to ensure that the sector is achieving value for money, as well as equity. Figure 5: Consolidated basic education as a percentage of GDP, 2013 Basic education as a % of GDP Source: Estimates of National Expenditure 2017, Estimates of Provincial Revenue and Expenditure 2017 and Budget Review 2017 and OECD Education Indicators Takeaways: Basic education commands a substantial slice of overall government expenditure. Compared to the social development function, the rate of growth of the basic education budget over the medium term is stagnant. There are no indications in the present budget or in any official policy documents that the existing spending trends are likely to change soon, which will constrain spending on children s services in education. 7

8 Section 3. Composition of Education Spending Composition of Spending by Department Figure 6 shows that apart from a spike in spending in 2014/15, the budget of the Department of Basic Education was relatively flat over the six-year period and grew at a real average annual rate of 1.6 per cent. Expenditure on consolidated provincial education achieved a much lower real average annual rate of 0.9 per cent over the same period. Expenditure on the higher education and training vote increased UNICEF South Africa at a real average annual rate of almost 4 per cent. Given the large annual increases in expenditure on higher education and training programmes, the rather low projection for this function at the end of the present (2018/19) does not portray any accurate planning assumptions, but reflects the uncertainty of the outcome of discussions and bargaining in this sector, especially the university sector. Figure 6: Inflation-adjusted spending trends in education departments, /14 to 2019/20 (2016/17=100) 2014/ / /17 Revised estimate / / / Department of Higher Education and Training Consolidated provincial education Department of Basic Education Percentage Source: Estimates of National Expenditure 2017 and Estimates of Provincial Revenue and Expenditure 2017 Note: Real annual percentage changes are only indicated for consolidated provincial education budgets. 8

9 UNICEF South Africa Composition of Spending by Programme: Provincial Education Budgets Table 3 shows that consolidated provincial education spending is projected to grow from R213 billion in 2016/17 to just more than R254 billion in 2019/20 at a real average annual rate of 0.1 per cent. Spending on public ordinary schools, which constitutes roughly 80 per cent of total provincial education spending, is projected to grow by less than 1 per cent in real terms on average over the. The largest positive real growth rate is reserved for public special school education, in part facilitated by the introduction of a conditional grant to assist provinces in expanding special needs services for children with disabilities. Another key programme, Early Childhood Development (ECD), is projected to increase its spending by an average 1.5 per cent in real terms over the. In order to facilitate reductions in baseline spending, the education infrastructure grant was reduced, thus explaining the large real dip in infrastructure allocations over the. Table 3: Programme expenditure in the consolidated provincial education budget, 2013/14 to 2019/20 (ZAR 000) Programme 2016/17 Revised estimate 2017/ / /20 Real change between 2016/17 and 2017/18 (%) Real average annual change over (%) Public Ordinary Schools 167,936, ,210, ,178, ,699, Independent School Subsidies Public Special School Education Early Childhood Development 1,087,702 1,175,713 1,272,801 1,341, ,796,818 7,372,919 8,031,496 8,565, ,867,873 4,179,881 4,501,606 4,794, Infrastructure Development 13,391,601 11,657,896 11,893,210 12,143, Other 20,260,868 21,295,235 22,519,687 23,468, Total 213,341, ,892, ,397, ,013, Source: Estimates of Provincial Revenue and Expenditure

10 Composition of Spending by the Type of Expenditure: Provincial Education Budgets Basic education is a labour-intensive sector and Figure 7 shows that compensation of employees consumes about 80 per cent of available provincial education resources. While there are provincial variations, on average the sector is doing much better compared to previous years (not represented in the graph above), where compensation squeezed out other critical expenditures. South African public schools are classified as Section 21 schools (high level of managerial autonomy) and Non-section 21 schools (school budgets managed by the provincial education department) and hence expenses for critical school-level items (books, utilities, small maintenance etc.) are reflected across the goods and services category (for schools whose budgets are managed by provincial education departments) and transfers to NPOs (schools that can selfmanage their budgets). These shares appear stable across the period represented above. The share of expenditure on large capital projects, however, is projected to decline from 5.3 per cent in the present financial year to 4.0 per cent in 2019/20. In line with earlier observations all the chief expenditure categories are projected to grow by less than 1.0 per cent in real terms on average, confirming the constraints on expenditure on basic education in the present. Figure 7: Expenditure by type in the consolidated provincial education budgets, 2013/14 to 2019/20 Percentage of total allocation Compensation of employees Goods and services Transfers to NPOs Buildings and other fixed structures / / /17 Revised estimate 2017/ / /20 Other Source: Estimates of Provincial Revenue and Expenditure 2017 Takeaways: Spending on higher education and training programmes far outpaces that of corresponding spending in the basic education sector. While the higher education and training sector does not benefit children in the same way as the basic education sector, increased spending could benefit children indirectly, especially if an assumption is made that more resources will be spent on the training of school teachers. Key service delivery programmes for children at the provincial level barely manage to increase spending when factoring in inflation. Very young learners and children with disabilities should benefit from the additional spending targeted at the ECD and special needs programmes. Children at public ordinary schools should see most of their resources gains preserved (rather than expanded) over the medium-term. The attempt to eliminate infrastructure backlogs must be supported and rigorous poverty targeting should determine the priority schools that deserve immediate attention. The focus on improving the quality of learner performance is commendable, but the Department of Basic Education should resist adopting a punitive stance for underperforming schools because of the complexity of school performance in South Africa. 10

11 Section 4. Decentralisation and Equity in Education Spending UNICEF South Africa The Provincial Equitable Shares Formula (PES) Table 4 shows that the education component of the PES carries the largest weighting (48 per cent) and is made up of two factors, namely the size of the school-age cohort (5 17 year-olds) and the actual school enrolment. The distribution of the school-age cohort data is based on Census 2011 data, while updated school enrolment numbers provided by the DBE are used. The fact that the two factors are weighted equally, assists poorer provinces that have a larger percentage of over-age learners. 8 From an equity point of view, it is generally recognised that it is more expensive to educate learners from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and arguments have been made that the education component should consider the poverty of the different regions more explicitly and not rely exclusively on demographic data. The National Treasury is undertaking consultations with a view to changing the education component of the provincial equitable shares. Table 4: Distributing the equitable shares by provinces, 2017 Education (48%) Health (27%) Basic share (16%) Poverty (3%) Economic activity (1.0%) Institutional (5%) Weighted average Eastern Cape 15.1% 13.5% 12.6% 16.3% 7.6% 11.1% 14.0% Free State 5.3% 5.3% 5.1% 5.2% 5.0% 11.1% 5.6% Gauteng 18.0% 21.8% 24.1% 17.3% 34.3% 11.1% 19.8% KwaZulu-Natal 22.3% 21.7% 19.8% 22.2% 16.1% 11.1% 21.1% Limpopo 13.0% 10.3% 10.4% 13.6% 7.1% 11.1% 11.7% Mpumalanga 8.4% 7.3% 7.7% 9.1% 7.5% 11.1% 8.1% Northern Cape 2.3% 2.1% 2.1% 2.2% 2.1% 11.1% 2.7% North West 6.5% 6.7% 6.8% 8.0% 6.5% 11.1% 6.9% Western Cape 9.1% 11.3% 11.3% 6.1% 13.6% 11.1% 10.1% Total 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% 100% Source: Budget Review 2017 Note: Green represents the highest value, while red represents the lowest value for each component and the total weighted share by province. 11

12 Box 1 Let s imagine how this formula works in practice. If R100 billion was available to be spent on provinces, then the Eastern Cape provincial government should receive 14% of R100 billion (or R14 billion). Almost half of this money (48%) would have been decided using the education component. That means of the R48 billion decided through the education component, the Eastern Cape government would have received 15.1% of R48 billion (or R7.2 billion). For the health component, the Eastern Cape is entitled to 13.5% of the R27 billion (or R3.6 billion). The formula assumes that the cost of running government is the same for all provinces and the Eastern Cape will receive 11.1% of R11.1 billion (or R1.2 billion). The same calculation is done for all the components; these are tallied and the final shares will be paid over in quarterly instalments during the financial year. Spending and Allocations on Provincial Education Budgets Table 5 demonstrates that the slow overall growth in provincial spending is reflected across most of the provinces budgets and only the Eastern Cape (1.5 per cent on average) and the North West (0.9 per cent on average) achieve average positive gains over the. Spending and allocations reflected in the table below are inclusive of personnel spending, transfers to public schools, and expenditure on large and small infrastructure projects. Table 5: Spending and allocation trends in provincial education budgets, 2016/17 to 2018/19 (ZAR 000) 2016/17 revised estimate 2017/ / /20 Real change between 2016/17 and 2017/18 (%) Real average annual change over (%) Eastern Cape 30,291,514 32,989,054 35,097,333 37,587, Free State 12,794,331 12,739,378 13,614,009 14,586, Gauteng 39,590,028 40,843,869 44,378,271 46,754, KwaZulu-Natal 45,648,635 47,444,706 50,631,848 53,791, Limpopo 27,512,859 28,783,149 30,440,345 32,194, Mpumalanga 18,136,250 19,322,742 20,921,129 22,095, Northern Cape 5,574,233 5,857,848 6,139,973 6,496, North West 14,262,562 15,281,697 16,261,250 17,398, Western Cape 19,530,682 20,629,914 21,913,385 23,107, Total 213,341, ,892, ,397, ,013, Source: Estimates of Provincial Revenue and Expenditure 2017 Spending Disparities in Provincial Education Budgets From an equity lens, the KwaZulu-Natal provincial education department has the largest budget in absolute terms, but when service delivery burdens are factored in (number of learners), it ranks among the lowest per-pupil spenders. Figure 8 shows that in 2016, consolidated provincial education spending per pupil was approximately R16,500 and three provinces had per-pupil spending rates that were lower than the national average. These are the Eastern Cape (R15,400), KwaZulu-Natal (R15,800) and the Limpopo province (R15,500). The Northern Cape provincial education managed to spend almost R4,000 more than the national average. 12

13 Figure 8: Real per-pupil expenditure in subnational education budgets, 2016 (ZAR): 2016/17=100 National average Northern Cape Free State Western Cape North West Gauteng Mpumalanga KwaZulu-Natal Limpopo Eastern Cape 16,496 19,122 18,587 17,492 17,172 17,016 16,881 15,864 15,583 15, ,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 Per pupil expenditure, ZAR Source: Estimates of Provincial Revenue and Expenditure 2017 and EMIS data from Department of Basic Education The three poor provinces spent 5 per cent less on average on school learners in their respective provinces (Table 6). Given that these provinces have inherited massive infrastructure backlogs, their consistently below-average per-pupil spending is cause for concern. Furthermore, in a comparative analysis of provincial education spending on personnel by quintile, Gustafsson (2016) 9 found that learners in the poorest quintiles in KwaZulu- Natal have worse learner:educator ratios than their counterparts in the richest quintiles. This is a classic example of intra-provincial inequality, which does not get the same analytical exposure as the extra-provincial inequalities in inputs. For the remaining six provinces, the financing picture is one of convergence on per-pupil spending, although the aggregate picture may hide important differences at district and school level within provincial education departments. Table 6: Inequality measures summarising differences in per-pupil expenditure among subnational education departments, 2013 to 2016: 2016/17=100 Inequality measure Coefficient of variation Mean absolute deviation (ZAR) Per-pupil expenditure in poor provinces as a factor of the national average Source: Estimates of Provincial Revenue and Expenditure 2017 (own calculations) Note: The Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo were defined as poor provinces. UNICEF/Hearfield 13

14 Spending and s in Provincial Education Budgets Schools in the poorest quintiles are exempted from paying school fees. Figure 9 compares schools in the two poorest quintiles in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape on their respective university-level passes achieved in What is notable, is that schools in both provinces have relatively low university-level endorsements (the median university-endorsed passes in the Eastern Cape are less than 10 per cent and the corresponding number for the Western Cape is 21 per cent). However, there are schools in both provinces that have a large percentage of their learners achieving university-endorsed passes ranging from 50 per cent to as high as 86 per cent. While quality is still an issue for most schools, some schools perform above the general expectation. Figure 9: Examining the relationship between per-pupil spending and academic outcomes (percentage university-passes by schools) in two provinces in 2016 (schools in national quintiles 1 and 2) Eastern Cape Western Cape Source: National Senior Certificate database provided by the Department of Basic Education, 2017 Note: The line inside the box represents the median (or 50th quartile), while the lower line of the box represents the 25th quartile and the upper line of the box represents the 75th quartile. The size of the box measures the overall range or spread of university-endorsed passes among schools in quintiles 1 and 2. Takeaways: Per-pupil spending has become less variable, even though concerns remain that some provincial education departments continue to spend considerably below the national average. The formula used to allocate resources to provinces for education services incorporates an equity perspective, but could go much further by reflecting the cost of educating poor children. School performance in the poorest schools remains a concern, although there is evidence that some poor schools continue to exceed expectations, despite the poverty of the school communities they serve. The focus on improving the quality of learner performance is commendable, but the Department of Basic Education should resist adopting a punitive stance for under-performing schools because of the complexity of school performance in South Africa. A diagnostic tool like a Public Expenditure Review (PER) could be very useful to identify underlying bottlenecks and improve the effectiveness of spending in poor and vulnerable districts and schools. 14

15 Section 5. Financing the Education Sector UNICEF/Bart de Ruigh Financing Basic Education at the Subnational Level Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) in South Africa is small in the context of social service sector budgets, and funding for school education is financed exclusively from available State revenues. Figure 10 below makes it clear that over time, a larger percentage of students are benefiting from attending no-fee schools. This is a progressive effort that needs to be strengthened on two fronts: one, there is a need to better understand whether the per-pupil allocations at no-fee schools are adequate; and two, there is a need to understand that the focus should be not only on inputs, but also on the outcomes and overall quality of the system. The answer to the first question will provide an indication of whether the rapid expansion of the no-fee system has overcome the challenges of removing cost barriers for poor children. Figure 10: Percentage of those aged 5 years and older who attended schools and who do not pay tuition fees, Percentage of learners Source: General Household Survey, 2015 and 2016 (official GHS reports) In a recent report on the impact of the no-fee school allocation, Branson et al. (2017)11 conclude that they could not find proof of any impact of the no-fee policy on learners school attendance or educational attainment in the postcompulsory grades. They do conclude, however, that poor schools need more years of increased funding to address the historical funding shortfalls and to more reliably establish the impact of these resources on school performance. 15

16 Financial and Cost Barriers in Provincial Education The emerging narrative that the cost of schooling is no longer the main reason for dissatisfaction among learners attending public schools, is given credence by the results in Table 7. Nationally, high school fees are listed as a barrier for only 3.5 per cent of learners. However, these views represent learners who are attending school and do not include those who have dropped out of school because of socio-economic barriers. It is also noteworthy that a much smaller percentage of learners regard poor teaching as a problem, even though scores of quantitative studies into the performance of the system often attribute poor quality outcomes to poor teaching and unprepared teachers. One should regard some of the data with circumspection, given the limited experiences of young children. Table 7: Percentage of learners who attended public schools experiencing specified problems per province, 2015 EC FS GP KZN LP MP NC NW WC RSA Lack of books Fees too high Classes too large Lack of teachers Poor teaching Source: General Household Survey, 2016 (official GHS report) Despite these reservations, the growing storyline seems to be that government has done well to encourage poor children to attend and stay in school. However, further analyses have also suggested that the government may not have the same financial muscle to continue the necessary changes, and so a focus on the overall fiscal space available to poor children is of paramount importance. A UNICEF-commissioned study into fiscal space in South Africa12 has highlighted several issues. Some of the salient findings include: (i) Levying taxes on the consumption of luxury goods and introducing the much-discussed sugar tax could lead to a sizeable amount of new revenue that could be used to finance priority expenditures in the social services sector; (ii) Building on the ongoing efforts to achieve cost savings, such as reducing unnecessary travel, curbing the use of external consultants and generally decreasing spending on non-priority areas that have a poor spending record. Takeaways: The government is achieving success in reducing private costs and financial barriers to basic education. To validate this narrative, further investigation is needed on the adequacy of funding allocations to the poorest schools and much more needs to be done to understand the performance equation in poor South African schools. Fiscal space that once existed to expand priority expenditures for children (including basic education) is constrained and will force education authorities to be more effective at delivering education services to poor children. There are several options that can be pursued by the South African government to increase fiscal space for priority expenditures for children, but it is unclear how local political dynamics will affect such transactions and inevitable compromises. 16

17 Endnotes 1 The reality is that although the school-age population is defined as including 5 17 year olds, the system caters for and includes those who are 18 years and above. 2 The Presidency, The National Development Plan 2030: Our future make it work. Pretoria, Government Printers, Department of Basic Education, Action Plan to 2019: Towards the Realisation of Schooling Pretoria, Government Printers, Data for this textbox were taken from The Department of Basic Education, Revised Five-Year Strategic Plan: 2015/ /20. Pretoria, Government Printers, The TIMMS data were drawn from the HSRC TIMMS 2015 reports listed on < [accessed 18 July 2017]. Gender parity school enrolment data were drawn from the Department of Basic Education s Education Statistics in South Africa Pretoria, Government Printers, Data on learners who benefited from the no-fee school system were drawn from the General Household Survey Our definition of consolidated government expenditure does not include provision for (interest on) public debt, excludes any public entities, but includes provision for the unallocated contingency reserve over the present. Excluding debt service costs provides a more accurate estimate of the quantity of resources available for service delivery. 6 Data for countries other than South Africa were obtained from the OECD Data site < education-spending.htm> [accessed 18 July 2017], which allows the user to compare any number of countries on different dimensions of education spending. 7 To clearly demonstrate the three departments that are involved in education provisioning in South Africa, we have not netted out the provincial transfers from the budget of the national Department of Basic Education. We have done that in our presentation of consolidated basic education. Our purpose with this graph was to graphically represent the overall squeeze on basic education funding. 8 Earlier versions of the education equitable shares formula assigned the school-age population component twice the weight of the school enrolment component, thus penalising provinces with a large percentage of older learners (above 17 years old). 9 Gustafsson, M. Teacher supply and the quality of schooling in South Africa: Patterns over space and time. Stellenbosch, University of Stellenbosch, < sza/wpaper/wpapers258.html> [accessed August 2017]. 11 Branson, N, Lam, D and Hofmeyr, C. The impact of the no-fee school policy on enrolment and school performance: evidence from NIDS Waves 1 3. Pretoria, the Department for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation. 10 The coefficient of variation measures the degree of dispersion of data points around the mean, while the mean absolute deviation does something similar but ignores the sign of the deviation. Per-pupil expenditure as a factor of the national average takes the average per-pupil spending of the poorest provinces and expresses this as a factor of the national per-pupil average. 12 UNICEF, National political economy analysis and fiscal space profiles of countries in Eastern and Southern Africa: fiscal space analysis South Africa. Rotterdam, UNICEF,

18 United Nations Children s Fund Equity House 659 Pienaar Street Brooklyn Pretoria

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