Northern Cape: HOD’s should be named, shamed and suspended

Boitumelo Babuseng, MPL

DA Provincial Spokesperson on Economic Affairs

The Democratic Alliance calls on the Premier to suspend all heads of department who allowed their departments to incur irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure during the 2013/14 financial year. She must follow the good example set by the Minister of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthetwa, who has suspended the director-general of the department of Arts and Culture pending an investigation into fruitless and wasteful expenditure. This is a good precedent which must be followed by the provincial government.

According to the Auditor-General’s report, ten of nineteen auditees did not investigate the irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure of the 2012/13 financial year to determine if any person was liable. This is serious negligence and a complete violation of the responsibilities that rests on a HOD. We often hear from departments that they “don’t have enough money” to deliver services to communities. If you look at the Auditor-General’s report, you can see that the money is there – but it is being misspent without any consequences for those who transgress. Departments need HODs to set the tone. If officials are not being held liable and if there are no consequences, the mismanagement of funds will simply continue unabated until the provincial coffers have run dry.

In the 2013/14 financial year, irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure runs into R1.8 billion. The main contributors are also some of the main service delivery departments, namely Health, Education and COGHSTA. With R1.8 billion, we could deliver an amazing range of services to the communities. Instead, money is wasted.