A virement represents a flexible mechanism to effect budgetary amendments within a municipal financial year.
Changing circumstances and priorities during a financial period may give rise to a need for virement (transfer) of funds within or between approved Votes, as defined in the Municipal Finance Management Act 56 of 2003 (MFMA). The treatment of such instances may however be dependent on whether an Adjustments Budget is required or not.
The MFMA and the Municipal Budget and Reporting Regulations, 2009 seek to move Municipalities away from the traditional approach of appropriating/ approving budgets by line item. The aim is to give the Heads of Municipal Departments and programmes greater flexibility in managing their budgets. In furtherance of this objective, each Municipality must put in place a Council approved Virement Policy, which should provide clear guidance to managers on when they may shift funds between items, projects, programmes and votes.