Massive R1.5 billion unauthorised expenditure bill to hit Gauteng budget surplus

Mike Moriarty MPL DA Gauteng Spokesperson on Finance The Gauteng Finance Department must still account for a massive R1 594 million in spending incurred without proper budget provision or authorisation, according to Finance MEC Mandla Nkomfe’s reply to my written question. Gauteng’s budget surplus for the year will therefore not materialise once this amount is brought to account and the hundreds of millions of Rand of old invoices, especially in the Health Department, are paid. This effectively means that R3 billion of this year’s budget cannot be used for service delivery: the public’s money is really gone even before it is received. Some of this unauthorized expenditure is very old, as is the case with R18.375 million in unauthorised expenditure incurred by the former Transport, Roads and Works department in the 2005 / 2006 financial year. The Education Department incurred R13.241 million in 2007 / 2008 that must still be accounted for, while the Auditor-General yet again flagged R247.882 million in unauthorised expenditure by the Transport department in 2008 / 2009. The Department of Education was almost entirely responsible for the outstanding R220.288 million unauthorised expenditure in 2009 / 2010. Unsurprisingly the greatest portion of outstanding amounts that must be authorised is from last year’s annual financial statements. Here the amount outstanding is just over R1 billion. Almost all of this is from the Health Department. The huge bill for unauthorised expenditure clearly shows a pattern of poor financial control and again it is the people of Gauteng that are punished, and not incompetent or dishonest staff. The people of the province, and not departmental officials, suffer because there will be less money available for service delivery than there should be. The DA in Gauteng will continue to ensure that accounting officers and officials are held responsible for financial misconduct in terms of section 81 of the Public Finance Management Act (No 1 of 1999). A DA-led provincial government will ensure honest, open and accountable provincial government and financial management. This would not only lead to better and more effective service delivery, but also an economic environment conducive to economic growth and job creation.

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