Front Matter

Front Matter Page

© 2001 International Monetary Fund

October 2001

IMF Country Report No.01/180

South Africa: Report on Observance of Standards and Codes—Data Module; Response by the Authorities; and Detailed Assessments Using the Data Quality Assessment Framework

This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes on Data Module for South Africa was prepared by a staff team of the International Monetary Fund as background documentation for the periodic consultation with the member country. It is based on the information available at the time it was completed on October 1, 2001. The views expressed in this document are those of the staff team and do not necessary reflect the views of the government of South Africa or the Executive Board of the IMF.

The Response by the Authorities on this report, and the Detailed Assessments Using the Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF), are also included.

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Front Matter Page

INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND

SOUTH AFRICA

Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC)-Data Module

Prepared by the Statistics Department and the African Department

Approved by Carol S. Carson and G. E. Gondwe

October 1, 2001

Contents

  • Acronyms

  • Executive Summary

  • I. Introduction

  • II. Data Dissemination Practices and the Special Data Dissemination Standard

    • A. Overview of the SDDS

    • B. Current Dissemination Practices

      • Data Dimension: Coverage, Periodicity, and Timeliness

      • Access Dimension

      • Integrity Dimension

      • Quality Dimension

      • Monitoring of Data

  • III. Summary Assessment of Data Quality

    • A. The Framework for Assessing Data Quality

    • B. Summary of Findings

      • Prerequisites of quality

      • Integrity

      • Methodological soundness

      • Accuracy and reliability

      • Serviceability

      • Accessibility

  • IV. Staff Recommendations

    • Institutional Arrangements

    • National Accounts

    • Consumer Price Index (CPI)

    • Producer Price Index (PPI)

    • Government Finance Statistics

    • Monetary Statistics

    • Balance of Payments Statistics

  • Text Tables

    • 1. South Africa: Overview of Current Practices Regarding Coverage, Periodicity, and Timeliness of Data Compared to the Special Data Dissemination Standard

    • 2.1 Data Quality Assessment Framework: Summary Presentation of National Accounts

    • 2.2 Data Quality Assessment Framework: Summary Presentation of Consumer Price Index

    • 2.3 Data Quality Assessment Framework: Summary Presentation of Production Price Index

    • 2.4 Data Quality Assessment Framework: Summary Presentation of Government Finance Statistics

    • 2.5 Data Quality Assessment Framework: Summary Presentation of Monetary Statistics

    • 2.6 Data Quality Assessment Framework: Summary Presentation of Balance of Payments

  • Boxes

    • 1. Dimensions and Elements of the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS)

  • Appendix

    1. Users’ Views.

Acronyms

1993 SNA

1993 System of National Accounts

BPM5

Balance of Payments Manual, Fifth Edition

CBS

Central Bank Survey

CPC

Central Product Classification

CPI

Consumer Price Index

CPD

Corporation for Public Deposits

DCS

Depository Corporations Survey

DQAF

Data Quality Assessment Framework

GFS86

Government Finance Statistics Manual, 1986

GAAP

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles

GDP

Gross domestic product

GRAP

Generally recognized accounting practices

MFSM

Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual

ODCs

Other Depository Corporations

ODCS

Other Depository Corporations Survey

PPI

Producer Price Index

PFMA

Public Finance Management Act, 1999

ROSC

Report on Observance of Standards and Codes

SACU

Southern Africa Customs Union

SADC

Southern African Development Community

SANT

South African National Treasury

SARB

South African Reserve Bank

SARS

South African Revenue Service

SDDS

Special Data Dissemination Standard

SIC 1993

Standard Industrial Classification for South Africa

SITC

Standard International Trade Classification

Stats SA

Statistics South Africa

Executive Summary

This Report on Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) is a summary assessment of South Africa’s data dissemination practices against the IMF’s Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), complemented by an in-depth assessment of the quality of the key national accounts, prices, government finance, monetary, and balance of payments statistics. In addition, the mission was asked to assess elements of employment statistics within the framework of national accounts. The assessment of the quality of these datasets relies on the Data Quality Assessment Framework (DQAF) developed by the IMF’s Statistics Department. The agencies that produce these sets of statistics are the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), the National Treasury (SANT), and Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). This assessment was carried out by a mission from the Statistics Department that visited Pretoria during May 7–18, 2001.1

The mission concluded that:

  • SDDS observance: South Africa meets the SDDS specifications for the coverage, periodicity, and timeliness of all data categories, and for the dissemination of advance release calendars.

  • Prerequisites of quality: South African statistical agencies have a legal and institutional framework that supports statistical quality. Agencies demonstrate an awareness of quality as the cornerstone of statistical work.

    However, responsibility for compiling and disseminating statistics in a number of areas is diffused, for historical and resource availability reasons. In such circumstances, close coordination and cooperation between the respective agencies is particularly important. This coordination and cooperation is being achieved at the moment for the compilation of government finance statistics, but the authorities may wish to strengthen the process and reduce vulnerability to breakdown, through written memoranda of understanding between the three agencies mainly involved, and, ultimately, through legal reinforcement.

  • Integrity: All three agencies demonstrate professionalism, are transparent in their statistical practices and policies, and provide ethical guidelines to their staffs.

  • Methodological soundness: With some exceptions, the national accounts follow the internationally endorsed standards of the System of National Accounts,1993 {1993 SNA); the consumer and producer prices indices too are in line with international standards. Fiscal accounts are in line with Government Finance Statistics Manual,1986 (GFS86), and steps are being taken to move toward the accrual accounting framework mandated in the prospective new manual. Balance of payments accounts are broadly in line with the Balance of Payments Manual, Fifth Edition (BPM5), and monetary accounts with the Monetary and Financial Statistics Manual,2000 (MFSM).

    Prospective improvements in the coverage of the employment survey, and the development of a half-yearly labor force survey, are welcome. It would be useful to continue to disseminate employment series on the SDDS bulletin board web site, even in the period before full analysis is complete, noting on the accompanying metadata the methodological limitations.

    Although South Africa disseminates its international reserves position in line with the requirements of the IMF’s template on international reserves and foreign currency liquidity, reporting of its international reserves position could be more transparent in a number of ways, including separating monetary from non-monetary holdings of gold, applying a consistent formula for the valuation of gold at market price, and excluding regional currency holdings from reserves. In addition, the continued inclusion of foreign currency holdings of the commercial banks in official records rests on earlier interpretations of the application of exchange controls and could usefully be discontinued.

  • Accuracy and reliability: Improvement could be made in a few datasets, including by designing better source data in compiling the national accounts and the balance of payments, in particular to capture better developments in the service sector.

  • Serviceability: In general, South African statistics are relevant and timely. Macroeconomic statistics appear to broadly meet users’ needs. The highly-regarded Statistics Council of South Africa monitors the development of the statistical systems of South Africa.

  • Accessibility: Information on metadata and statistics are widely available in various forms, including on the Internet. Officials in the responsible agencies are accessible.

Front Matter Page

INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND

SOUTH AFRICA

Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC)—Data Module Response by the Authorities

October 1, 2001

Contents

  • I. Reactions from South African Authorities on Fund Staff recommendations

    • A. Institutional Arrangements

    • B. Government Finance

    • C. Monetary Statistics

    • D. Balance Of Payments

    • E. National Accounts

    • F. Consumer Price Index (CPI)

    • G. Production Price Index (PPI)

Front Matter Page

INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND

SOUTH AFRICA

Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC)—Data Module Detailed Assessments Using the Data Quality Assessment Framework

Prepared by the Statistics Department and the African Department

Approved by Carol S. Carson and G. E. Gondwe

October 1, 2001

This document contains a detailed assessment by dataset of the elements and indicators that underlie the data quality dimensions discussed in Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC), Section HI of the data module and the generic framework used for the assessment of the quality of South Africa’s data (Appendix).

Contents

  1. National Accounts

  2. Price Statistics (Consumer Price Index)

  3. Price Statistics (Producer Price Index)

  4. Government Finance Statistics

  5. Monetary Statistics

  6. Balance of Payments Statistics

Tables

  1. Production Approach—Use of Benchmarks and Fixed Ratios

Appendix

  1. Data Quality Assessment Framework—Generic Framework