Effective financial oversight is an integral part in ensuring that Development
Finance Institutions deliver on their mandate and also to hold the executive to
account for the use of public funds and resources. This article investigates the use
of supervision tools by the National Treasury of South Africa in its oversight of the
Land and Agricultural Bank of South Africa (Land Bank). Of the variety of tools in
use globally, it identifies the CAMELS assessment framework as well as the Subsidy
Dependence Index (SDI) and explores their benefits and drawbacks in the South
African context. In addition, the article gains the perception regarding financial
oversight by means of interviews from National Treasury and Land Bank stakeholders.
Taking the financial information from the Land Bank audit report and performing a
quantitative analysis of the bank’s performance, as well as measuring the social cost
of the subsidies, the findings show that the adoption of the CAMELS rating could
assist the Land Bank in determining a bank’s overall condition and identifying its
strengths and weaknesses in terms of finances, operations and management.