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  • Building better budgets

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  • Bridging Africa's infrastructure gap

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  • Building a better retirement world

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  • Dynamics: bridging the gap

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  • Public Financial Management reform in Africa

    EY’s new thought leadership shows how Public Financial Management reform in Africa is helping to build good governance and attract investment to the continent.

  • Working with the World Bank Group to end poverty

    Find out how we are supporting the World Bank Group in fulfilling the twin goals of ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity.

  • Dynamics : collaborating for growth

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  • Worldwide Index of Women as Public Sector Leaders

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Government & Public Sector

Doing more with less

Policy-makers are operating in a rapidly-changing world. Shifting demographics, urbanization and climate change are just a few of the long-term and systemic trends reshaping 21st century government.

And with finances tight, growth stalling and unemployment high, the legacy of the financial crisis continues to play out across borders.

Our Government & Public Sector practice aims to be the preferred partner in driving transformational change for governments around the world. In countries large and small, developed and emerging, we understand the issues and can provide you solutions that will have lasting impact.

We help governments facing a changing world.

  • Infrastructure development

    Infrastructure development is high on government's agenda in South Africa and across the rest of Africa. Government's are steadily spearheading unprecedented levels of investment in infrastructure. This has given way to substantial opportunity to provide services required to successfully lead and conclude vast capital programmes such as: strategic portfolio and programme management, infrastructure monitoring and reporting and other related advisory services.

  • Financial transformation

    Transformation within the public sector has never been more relevant as public institutions are being increasingly scrutinised in terms of their effectiveness in discharging government services and managing public funds. This has led to a steady stream of clients wanting to achieve clean audits. Our audit remediation and financial transformation offering provides a sector specific approach to driving increased governance and implementation of world class controls at various government and public sector entities.


  • Effective Internal Audit

    Achieving effectiveness and greater return from internal audit remains a relevant topic on government's radar. Increasingly government is searching for ways to incorporate internal audit and risk management as part of their strategic conversations which will ultimatley help them achieve their core mandate which is service delivery to its citizens.


  • Effective Implementation of legislation and regulations

    Our government sector has sound legislation and regulations that is comparable to the best globally, such as the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA). To obtain maximum benefit from our sound legislation and regulations, this has to be supported by the effective implementation of appropriate systems and resources. Effective implementation is the current challenge facing the sector and two areas can be highlighted:

    • Skills shortage: There is a significant shortage of appropriately skilled professionals in the public finance management area which is impacting financial reporting and good governance. This is an ongoing challenge which needs to be addressed with urgency. The government sector needs to be more innovative in attracting and retaining the best talent, ensure resources are equipped to execute their mandates and should enforce a stronger ethical compass in order to better serve the citizens of this country. More collaboration between the government and private sectors will address some of the current challenges.
    • Systems:  Government departments need to ensure they partner with the right advisors to ensure the successful implementation of IT systems. Too often the wrong systems are in place to meet the sectors requirements or vice-versa, the right systems are in place but not implemented effectively. IT systems should be selected by demand side of the government department/entity i.e. based on their needs and not by the supply side where systems are available and implemented without consideration of the needs.
  • Accounting systems

    Government departments are currently on modified cash basis - which is the first step towards to accrual accounting which should be the long term objective. The accrual basis of accounting will provide users with more reliable and relevant information regarding governments’ assets, liabilities and any obligations. It also provides users with information regarding managements’ performances with resources to achieve its service mandate.

  • Our credentials
    • We have played an instrumental role in fulfilling an infrastructure delivery monitoring and reporting function for one of the largest investments in infrastructure in South Africa. The client, as a development funding agency, is responsible for implementing a significant portion of government’s investment in infrastructure for education, health and social services. We play a strategic role as a trusted advisor and are proud role-players in shaping South Africa’s future infrastructure.
    • As part of improving government’s approach to management of assets, we have assisted a large public entity with programme managing enhancements to their asset registers. The client is the largest custodian of public assets within South Africa and have we have provided specialised solutions based on our in-depth knowledge of asset management and the relevant legislation governing asset management with the public sector. Our role will enable our client to make strategic decisions with regards to state assets serving our communities.
    • We are currently fulfilling an internal audit function at a key government entity with specific focus on providing assurance on a Government-wide IT implementation which involves replacement of many legacy systems. We are thus proudly participating towards a key IT transformation within the South African government.
    • We have audited numerous government departments, municipalities and public entities, as appointed auditors of the organisation or on behalf of the Auditor-General of South Africa. We recently assisted a large public entity with a financial turnaround and audit readiness project. We spent approximately four months with the entity and subsequently converted a disclaimer of opinion in the prior period to an unqualified opinion in the current period.
    • We have a strong public finance management technical team that provides accounting opinions and provides training to numerous government departments and entities.
    • We have also assisted government entities in addressing some of the audit outcomes as published in the General Report of the Auditor-General of South Africa, including the audit of pre-determined objectives.

Contact us

Sugan Palanee 
Government &Public Sector Leader
+27 31 576 8077

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Industry insights - Unlocking value in Africa

This Industry insights directory (pdf, 1.8mb)  introduces you to our sector leaders for Africa and provides you with an overview of your industry, as well as a look at some of our credentials per sector.

Citizen Today: policy-makers tackle unemployment

EY - Citizen Today: policy-makers tackle unemployment

Our latest edition delves into the issues of unemployment and gender equity, solving US fiscal challenges and supporting entrepreneurship.

Read past issues here.