The Gauteng Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) has once again underspent on its budget. This was revealed in the department’s annual report for the 2018/19 financial year.
According to the report, the department underspent across all its four major programmes, yet they are unable to provide necessary support to our embattled local and districts municipalities.
The department underspent R19 million in Programme One: Administration. In Programme Two: Local Governance, they underspent by R7,3 million and R3,3 million on Programme Three: Development Planning. The department also underspent R1,7 million on Programme Four: Traditional Institutional Management.
The reasons given for the department’s under expenditure are projects not completed, failure to finalise procurements timeously, and funding withheld by the department due to the non-submission of financial records. All of these relate to project and financial management, of which it seems the department is incapable and inefficient.
This under expenditure by the department is also highlighted in the report by the Auditor General South Africa and requires urgent intervention by the Gauteng COGTA MEC, Lebogang Maile, and the department’s top management.
This clearly indicates a lack of planning and management skills in the department as this same issue was also noted in the 2017/18 annual report.
This department is failing to spend money to support our local and district municipalities which are plagued by enormous challenges ranging from failing to settle its water and electricity debt, failing to deliver basic services and some are bankrupt and unable to pay employees’ salaries.
I will be tabling questions to MEC Maile in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature to ascertain what measures the department is putting in place to ensure that their allocated budget is spent.