Lim executive council failed the poorest of the poor

Jacques Smalle (MPL)

DA Limpopo Provincial Leader:

The Democratic Alliance in Limpopo calls on the provincial executive to rectify the messy state of the Social Development department which is a result of poor planning when splitting the former union of this department with health.

Yesterday’s failure to account to a SCOPA hearing bears testament to DA’s views that the Executive Council did not plan accordingly and properly after adopting a resolution to split the department.

The accounting officer hardly satisfied the committee with her responses as most answers were either irrelevant or the blame would be shifted to sister departments.

It became evident in this hearing that the department was operating with inefficient staff compliment, with an overall low staff component of 48% while the finance section had 58% of vacancies open for the past three (3) years.

The DA is saddened yet unsurprised that the planning of this department was so poor that there was no transfer of capital infrastructure funding for ongoing projects. This badly affected the running of the department and dictated the current state in which the department finds itself in.

Auditor General’s Public Finance Management Act’s audit outcomes of the 2013-14 presented at the hearing also proved that the department was faced with poor management, lack of capacity and the inability to take ownership of responsibilities by management at all levels.

The department also failed to improve its current year audit outcome after it regressed to a qualified opinion in 2012-13. The AG report clearly shows that lack of capacity in the Social Development department resulted in the maintenance and updating assets register as the main problem.

The department has for the past 3 financial years been failing to correct mistakes that are noted by AG while non-compliance with laws, regulations and material misstatements in the annual financial statement keep on being repeated.

Other concerns of the DA about the department include:

  • Wasting millions of taxpayers in irregular expenditure
  • Fruitless and wasteful expenditure worth millions
  • Service providers awarded tenders before registering with relevant statutory bodies
  • Appointments were made without proper vetting procedures
  • Positions were vacant for more than a year
  • No performance management systems

The above affirms the DA is of the view that Limpopo Executive Council must take responsibility of the messy state of this department and ensure that the department is fully equipped and fully functioning to benefit the people of Limpopo