FS Government in financial crisis: National Treasury

David Ross MP

DA Constituency Head Lejweleputswa Region

The Free State provincial government’s finances are in a mess. This is confirmed by an Inter-Ministerial Committee that is considering placing the Free State government under administration.

National Treasury has identified various concerning issues pertaining to the provincial government’s finances. These are:

  • The Provincial Department of Health is on the verge of collapsing financially due to accruals in excess of R700 million;
  • The Provincial Department of Education has overspent its budget by more than R1 billion;
  • The Provincial Department of Police, Roads and Transport committed to a R4.2 Billion, 23-roads project, without proper planning and the sourcing adequate funding, placing additional financial burden on other provincial departments;
  • The Provincial Department of Agriculture’s continued financial support to the controversial Vrede Dairy Project in excess of R342 million;
  • The Provincial Department of Human Settlements paying advances to contractors in excess of R534 million resulting in fruitless and wasteful expenditure;
  • The provincial government’s continued funding for MACUFE of R30 million annually despite the requirement that the event should be self-funded;
  • And the irregular and illegal transversal contracts between the Office of the Premier and other provincial departments linked to the contracts with Letlaka Media for exclusive printing and advertising including the multimillion website scandal costing the province millions of rand.

The ANC-led provincial government under Premier Ace Magashule has completely mismanaged the province’s public finances. The Free State provincial government is on the verge of financial collapse.

I will write to the National Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin Gordhan, requesting his immediate intervention into the Free State’s finances to minimize the negative effect the current crisis will have on service delivery. Forensic investigations must be launched and where irregular and corrupt activities are identified, criminal charges must be brought against those implicated under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (Act 12 of 2004).

Where the DA governs we ensure the best possible management of the resources available to us. We manage public funds appropriately and utilise these funds to improve services and uplift the poor. The DA is the only party in South Africa with a credible track record in good effective governance.