Where are KwaZulu-Natal’s Annual Reports?

Mark Steele, MPP

DA KZN Spokesperson on Scopa

DESPITE ongoing warnings by the Democratic Alliance – that indecision and delays in making key political appointments such as Premier, MEC’s and Speaker would directly impact the quality of government in KwaZulu-Natal – several provincial departments have failed to comply with reporting requirements of the PFMA, only submitting their Annual Reports to the Legislature this month.

The departments concerned are KwaZulu-Natal’s COGTA, Social Development and Education sectors.

In addition, several departmental Annual Reports received in September by the Legislature – such as the Royal Household and the Department of the Premier – have still to be officially tabled in the House.

This failure to expedite the normal oversight process of the Legislature is an issue of governance which the newly appointed Speaker must address as a matter of urgency.  Oversight can only happen if the information contained in a department’s Annual Report is subjected to close scrutiny by the relevant portfolio committees.

Of perhaps more importance from the point of compliance with national legislation, the PFMA requires that annual reports be submitted by the relevant MEC’s to the provincial legislatures by the end of September, ie 6 months from the end of the financial year.

The responsibility for tabling these documents in the Legislature remains that of the MEC’s and it is the MEC’s who should be held accountable. The Speaker is the custodian of the oversight function of the Legislature and ultimately it is her responsibility to demand an explanation from these Departments.

Political delays and indecision can no longer impact on the delivery of proper government to the people of KZN.