Gauteng’s irregular expenditure exposes weak political control

By Mike Moriarty MPL, DA Chief Whip in the Gauteng Legislature:

The Auditor Generals’ finding that the Gauteng Provincial Government (GPG) incurred R5,76 billion irregular expenditure for the 2014/15 financial year is an indictment on Gauteng Premier David Makhura who, upon taking office, promised an efficient, transparent and pro-active administration.

This is an increase of R2 billion from R3,76 billion under his predecessor, Nomvula Mokonyane, and clearly points to a lack of financial control – and sets the ground for corruption and excessive wasteful expenditure to take root.

Emphasis must be placed on the Department of Health which received a qualified audit opinion. This department is a repeat offender and shows no sign improving.

Another is G-Fleet. This entity is one of the worst performing entities run by the GPG, and has been plagued for years with poor audit outcomes by the Auditor-General. This year it has received a disclaimer which shows an absolute financial collapse.

The audit picture that emerges is one of loss of both financial and political control. In this situation, a new round of even greater wastage and corruption will become evident.

A major challenge is interdepartmental debt. Government departments need to be more punctual with their payments to entities, and as is the case with g-Fleet, the entity itself needs to tighten up its credit control.

Disregard for treasury regulations and the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) must be dealt with decisively and swiftly.

The DA notes Premier Makhura’s instruction to Finance MEC Barbara Creecy to hold officials to account, but this must be accompanied by a plan to implement more stringent financial controls and checks to prevent any further loss of public funds.

The DA will write to MEC Creecy and request that she provide a timeline of when she will be taking action against officials that have transgressed the PFMA.