Main findings on free basic services from National Treasury Fiscal Incidence Report
This study was undertaken as part of a fiscal incidence study conducted by Prof. Servaas van der Berg on behalf of the National Treasury. The paper is also available on the website of the National Treasury.
This study analyses the extent to which the poor benefit from Free Basic Services (FBS), which include free basic water, free basic electricity, free basic sanitation and free basic solid waste removal. Unfortunately, none of the data sets analysed could be used to conduct fiscal incidence analysis because none of the surveys asked appropriate questions with regard to consumption/usage or tariffs/costs of FBS, the non-survey data from DWAF and NT were self-reported from municipalities, with several municipalities and district municipalities not providing any information at all, and the main data set provided by National Treasury was found to be riddled with inconsistencies and errors. The easiest and ideal solution to the data problem would be to have municipalities report household consumption data at monthly intervals throughout.