Massive fluctuations in KZN departmental budget spends expose poor financial controls

By Francois Rodgers, MPL, DA KZN Spokesperson on Finance:

THE lack of consistency around expenditure of KZN departmental budgets, with massive fluctuation from one year to the next, is indicative of a severe lapse in financial controls in the province.

Last week, KZN Finance MEC, Belinda Scott, tabled the unaudited KZN 2014/15 financial report, showing an under-expenditure of R422million for the year, with a total of 12 provincial departments seemingly incapable of spending their allocated funds successfully.

The figure – the worst in several years – is a regression even worse than 2012/13 when the province under spent its annual budget by R300 million rand with 11 departments cited.

The under spend comes after a significant overspend last year.

The DA regards this inconsistency in financial controls as evidence of a lack of political will and capacity to ensure funds are spent as they should be.

It is unacceptable that while our country and province face almost 40% unemployment – the highest ever – almost half a billion rand of the provincial budget remains unspent.

The magnitude of this under expenditure is a slap in the face of the poorest of the poor and gives the impression that the National and Provincial Growth development plans have become nothing more than dusty skeletons in the closet.

Financial stability is fundamental, particularly in current shrinking economy.

In an efficiently run DA province, half a billion rand in provincial budget will allow access to opportunity to give life to our hard won freedom.

Society cannot be fair with the current large scale inequality. What KZN needs is a growing economy which provides access to opportunities with the goals of job creation, independent economic freedom and ultimately personal dignity.

The DA will scrutinize these financial reports, identify the failures and successes of each and recommend successful financial models in order to ensure sustained economic stability and growth for the people of our province.