Chris Hattingh MPL
Provincial Leader Democratic Alliance North-West The Democratic Alliance says the ANC North West government has, once again, been formally identified for what it has become an incompetent structure incapable of clean accountable governance and of delivering services. Responding to the Auditor-General’s report on the North West Provincial Audit Outcomes for 2011-2012 tabled in the Legislature yesterday, I stated it was a disgrace that not a single North West provincial department had received a clean audit report from the AG, while the embattled Department of Public Works and Roads earned another disclaimer opinion. The AGs statement that “unauthorised, irregular or fruitless expenditure was incurred by 80% of the auditees” highlighted the shocking state of financial governance in the North West Province.
The report also confirmed that the trend identified in the previous AG’s finding that the North West Province was in regression, was continuing. The AG stated in the report that the “stagnant nature of outcomes in the province is of great concern. Improvement is slow and nullified by regressions.” Also that: “Overall the provincial audits have regressed with 64% of Departments (57% prior year) and 76% of entities (62% prior year) receiving either qualified or disclaimed audit opinions, or not submitting annual financial statements”. And further, “the lack of improvement at most of the biggest departments in the province implies that more than 90% of the provincial budget is either disclaimed or qualified”. The AG also reported that “dedicated people and resources are not assigned to pre-determined objectives in order to achieve the desired results. In addition the AG found that the majority of departments failed to address and implement findings and recommendations on previous AG’s reports.” The AG further stated that “leadership does not set the appropriate tone at the top” and that “key officials lack required competencies and skills” Without specifically identifying the problem, the AG’s report reflected the result of years and years of the ANC’s vicious circle of cadre deployment strategies replacing suitably qualified and experienced employees with incompetent employees.
The report highlighted the plight of the North West people, who not only suffer from the ever-increasing widespread lack of delivery, but also as the victims of a system that has become a massive public funds squanderer in a self-created environment that facilitates and sustains fraud and corruption, an environment in which tenderpreneurs flourish. The realities of the governance of the North West Government , as exposed by the AG puts the statement of Premier Thandi Modise that “Leadership owes it to our communities to take bold steps to appoint qualified and skilled people in strategic management positions in order to improve service delivery and eliminate mismanagement, irregular expenditure, fraud and corruption” in its proper context: a dream designed to pacify the people of the North West while the incurable disease that the North West ANC Government has become, devours valuable resources. Until the ANC identifies and takes public ownership of the problems it created and then implements a total clean-up followed by a drastic turn-around plan, the regression of governance in the NW will continue with its devastating consequences for its communities: the decline and collapse of essential services.