Mr Krish Kumar, Commissioner (1 March 2013–28 February 2018) Mr Krish Kumar commenced work as a Trainee Accountant with the erstwhile Durban City Council in 1981 and progressed through the ranks to become City Treasurer of the North and South Central Local Councils in 1997. In addition, in 1999 he was appointed City Treasurer of the Durban Metropolitan Council and in 2001 Deputy City Manager: Treasury. Krish is a member of the South African Local Government Association’s (SALGA) finance working group, Fellow (and past President) of the Institute of Municipal Finance Officers (IMFO), Chairperson of the Municipal Chief Financial Officers (CFO) Forum and has served two terms as a member of the Accounting Standards Board. He holds a Master of Administration degree from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Prof. Daniel Plaatjies (Commissioner from1 September 2013–31 July 2017) (Appointed as Chairperson on 3 July 2017) Daniel Plaatjies is Chairperson of the Financial and Fiscal Commission since 1 July 2017 having previously served since mid-2013 as part-time Commissioner. He specialises in public policy, public finance and governance and is an author and has edited three books: Future Inheritance: Building State Capacity in Democratic South Africa (2011 Jacana Media); Protecting the Inheritance: Governance and Public Accountability in Democratic South Africa (2013 Jacana Media); and State of the Nation: State of the Nation 2016 : Who Is in Charge? (2016 HSRC). He is a founding director of the Rosmead Institute, as well as an experienced executive civil servant, special adviser, academic and researcher in public institutions such as National Treasury, Human Sciences Research Council and the University of Witwatersrand. Plaatjies is also the former Director and Head of the Graduate School for Public and Development Management (now called Graduate School of Governance). He was a leading technocrat in the establishment of the South African Social Security Agency. Plaatjies holds a PhD (Wits), MPhil (UWC), BSocSc Honours (UCT), Diploma VI Social Science (UWC) and numerous professional certificates from international academic institutions.
Policy Brief 10 - How the Cost of Information and Communication Technology Hampers Implementation of Financial Management Reforms in Lesser-Resourced Municipalities
Currently South Africa has 278 municipalities with varying capabilities and capacity. The Municipal
Finance Management Act requires municipalities to maintain efficient, effective and transparent systems and implement proper financial record keeping. One of the key reforms spearheaded in this regard is the Municipal Standard Chart of Accounts (mSCOA). Implementation of mSCOA is information and communication technology intensive and thus expensive. A consequence of this is that many municipalities will not be able to achieve compliance by the compulsory implementation date of July 2017. Given the potential benefits associated with ensuring a national standard around financial reporting at the local government level, it is recommended that ring-fenced funding in respect of mSCOA implementation be made available for lesser-resourced municipalities and that technical assistance be provided
to the most under-resourced municipalities to assist with change management.
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Policy Brief 9 - Funding and Policy Framework for Supporting Urban Informal Employment
The South Africa urban labour market structure is undergoing a transformation of a different kind. One
which is uniquely characterised by the coinciding of high unemployment and low informal employment.
This is instead of the typical growth of formal employment which is associated with rapid urbanisation. Throngs of rural and peri-urban job seekers migrate to the cities, attracted by the prospects of employment and income. However, given the low formal sector labour absorption rate, many of these job seekers end up eking out a living through informal employment. This creates a policy dilemma over whether to support or discourage informality. Informality provides a cushion for over two million people, but at the same time is seen as a threat to productivity, competitiveness and fiscal receipts. As a result, the support given to the sector is often inadequate, or conceived as part of poverty reduction rather than enterprise development.
The Financial and Fiscal Commission sought to assess the role of cities and available intergovernmental transfers in harnessing informal employment. The results indicate that informal sector support and funding programmes are concentrated at national and provincial government level instead of at city level, where informal enterprise takes place. Existing interventions largely focus on the disbursement of grants and trading infrastructure, rather than addressing informal employment growth constraints holistically.
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Policy Brief 8 - The Effects of Municipal Spending on Urban Employment
South Africa has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. Unemployment has remained above 20% since the dawn of democracy in 1994. Despite the widespread perception that unemployment levels are generally lower in urban centres, compared with the rest of the country, the reality is that urban municipalities also face unemployment levels that are almost as high as the national average. Research by the Financial and Fiscal Commission, which examined the indirect effects of municipal spending programmes on job creation, found that spending on job creation and poverty alleviation initiatives contribute positively towards employment. In particular, spending on the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and the Community Work Programme (CWP) has a significant positive effect on the total level of employment for metros, but not for other urban municipalities, namely secondary cities and large towns.
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