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Financial management in affluent secondary schools in Gauteng: a case study.

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In South Africa, research revealed that many schools fail to effectively manage their finances due to various factors, including the limited financial management knowledge of their governing bodies. The South African Schools Act (SASA) 84 of 1996 stipulates how schools should manage their finances. SASA further states that the school management, including the principal and the governing body, should ensure that the school's financial resources are appropriately managed. The study’s main aim was to examine the financial management of affluent schools in Gauteng province. A case study of four affluent schools was conducted, and it followed a qualitative approach. Purposive sampling was used to select four study participants (the principal, treasurer, and finance officer) from each school, making it twelve. The data were collected using semi-structured interviews and document reviews. After that, the data were analysed using thematic analysis and presented as narratives or in-depth responses from the study participants. Key findings of the study revealed that various stakeholders play a vital role in managing school finances; for example, the principal is an official executive member of the governing body, whereas accounting officers are responsible for documentation, including making payments and providing supporting documentation. To ensure collaboration and avoid confusion among the SGB members, affluent schools implemented working policies that assisted in defining roles for each member and held workshops for capacity building. Additionally, the school governing body members (SGB) met monthly for some schools, whereas for other schools, the SGB members met quarterly to discuss financial management. Interestingly, affluent schools employed several measures to combat the mismanagement of financial resources. These included having three signatories for the authorisation of funds, bank statements, and receipt books. From the findings, I concluded that SGBs of sampled affluent schools manage their financial management effectively; although minimal discrepancies exist, the positives supersede the drawbacks. A recommendation is that the department of education collect data from affluent schools and establish a model of financial management in schools that can serve as a guideline for other schools, especially those in townships and rural areas.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.