Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba will deliver his budget speech in February. PHOTO: Phando Jikelo / ANA
JOHANNESBURG - South Africa has been ranked first alongside New Zealand, out of 115 countries in the 2017 Open Budget Index (OBI) survey. 

The OBI survey assesses the availability of eight key budget documents in each of the 115 countries evaluated.

The survey also examines the extent of effective oversight provided by legislatures, the independent fiscal institutions and the supreme audit institutions, and the opportunities available to the public to participate in national budget processes.

The National Treasury said the recognition shows that the country plays open cards with the public when it comes to the budgeting processes. 

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has applauded this achievement. Minister Gigaba says the National Treasury remains committed to improving its budget processes as the leaders and stewards of public resources.

“This is evidenced by the expansive budget information that is published for public analysis and scrutiny”, he said.

South Africa achieved a score of 89 out of 100 in terms of transparency, an improvement from a score of 86 achieved in 2015.

The country has consistently been rated amongst the top three since it held the first position in the 2010 Open Budget Index.

Gigaba is set to deliver a watershed 2018/19 budget speech later next month.

The National Treasury will launch a new flagship project, vulekamali on the eve of the budget speech that aims to be more open on the budgeting process. Vulekamali is an online budget portal that will provide easily accessible budget data that will empower all South Africans with necessary information on how taxes are being generated, and how budgets are allocated and spent. Gigaba is expected to launch the portal on 20 February 2018 in Cape Town.

- BUSINESS REPORT