In 2002, the government of South Africa approved its first project to implement an Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS). However, a complex governance structure and technical approach led to protracted delays in implementation, and an amended approach (IFMS 2) was approved and initiated in 2013. Progress has been made on IFMS 2 and the project is currently preparing to pilot implementation. However, as of December 2020, the administration of national and provincial government is still managed through a transversal system comprising multiple distinct information technology (IT) products.
This case study describes the existing transversal system and how it is used to support key PFM processes in South Africa. It reviews the challenges associated with the system before providing information on the ongoing IFMS project intended to replace it. The study concludes by drawing general lessons for other countries considering modernising their administrative systems.