Accounting for fiscal obligations and contingent liabilities in public-private partnerships in South Africa — A framework for analysis

July 2019
by Refilwe Mokanse, Dorcas Kayo, Yoliswa Sambo, Mkhulu Maseko, and Cigdem Aslan


The research proposes a general approach to assessing and accurately quantifying fiscal obligations and the state’s contingent liabilities that arise from financing infrastructure projects through public-private partnerships (PPPs). It includes a method for assessing the likelihood of these contingent liabilities materializing due to contract termination because of private party default or public institution default or the triggering of a minimum revenue guarantee payment from the fiscus. South Africa’s fiscal framework governing PPPs has been in existence since 2000 and, to date, 34 PPP projects valued at R89.3 billion have been completed. South Africa’s methods for valuing and accounting for PPPs in the public sector accounts, and in particular, the contingent liabilities involved require review and improvement to meet international best practice. This paper sets out a framework for appropriate methods and provides a basis for developing public sector capacity for effective valuation and reporting.

Download SA-TIED Working Paper #68