With the increase in unemployment and poor service delivery in the Gauteng Province, it is extremely concerning to note that irregular expenditure and fruitless and wasteful expenditure has drastically increased for the 2020/21 financial year.
This information was revealed by the Auditor-General (AG) in a report that took into account the overall audit outcomes for all Gauteng departments for the previous financial year.
Irregular expenditure for the previous financial year totalled a whopping R9.7 billion. The worst offenders are:
- Department of Health – R3 921 800 000,00
- Department of Roads and Transport – R2 013 200 000,00
- Department of Infrastructure Development – R1 119 900 000,00
- Department of Education – R922 900 000,00
- Department of Social Development – R683 000 000,00
For Health, the bulk of the irregular expenditure was due to non-compliance to Treasury regulations on competitive budding as well as irregularities regarding the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Roads and Transport had irregular expenditure relating to the extension of Bus subsidy contracts and the extension of contracts without the necessary approval being obtained.
Infrastructure Development failed to follow the proper supply chain management process in the procurement of client’s infrastructure projects and infrastructure projects related to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Department of Education also incurred irregular expenditure in response to the Covid-19 pandemic as well as to lease contracts that were not renewed but continued on a month-to-month basis. Social Development incurred irregular expenditure in relation to food parcel and dignity packs during the 2016-2018 financial years.
According to the report by the AG, fruitless and wasteful expenditure for our province has increased from R103 million to R378 million. The worst offenders for the 2020/21 financial year are:
- Department of Health – R244 600 000,00
- Department of Human Settlements – R118 400 000,00
- Department of Infrastructure Development – R22 600 000,00
The Department of Health incurred fruitless and wasteful expenditure due to the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), while Human Settlements was mainly due to interest charges, and the Department of Infrastructure Development had an overpayment to a supplier and a standing time claim that should not have been paid.
It is disheartening to see that while our country is trying to recover from the effects of the hard lockdown imposed last year, which led to many homes losing multiple income streams, that our government has no consideration in how taxpayers’ money is spent.
Irregular expenditure once again points to the simple lack of planning from government departments and their inability to simply follow the procedures put in place to ensure that every cent of our taxpayers’ hard-earned money is spent in an open and transparent manner.
The fruitless and wasteful expenditure is an indictment on our residents as this is this money that has now potentially been lost and may not be recovered by our government. This money could have been used to help more employment opportunities within the various government departments, to aid our unemployed, particularly the youth, to secure much needed to skills to seek permanent employment.
The DA will continue to demand that our taxpayers’ money is spent in the correct manner and that where officials are found guilty of corruption that they are brough to book and that consequence management becomes the order of the day at all government departments in our province.