Finance Minister Tito Mboweni in February said that the government was borrowing about R1.2billion a day.
StatsSA analysed government spending over 13 years, focusing on how much citizens pay to service the debt. StatsSA said since 2007/08, the government has consistently spent more than it earns.
“The deficit in 2016/17, for example, amounted to R156bn. It should be noted that a budget deficit is not uncommon across the world and should not automatically be seen in a negative light. Countries generally borrow money to cover financial deficits so that they can provide services to their citizens,” StatsSA said.
“If state expenditure is taken as a measure of better times, there was a three-year period (2005/6 to 2008/9) when government spent less than it earned, enjoying a surplus over that period.”