By Bosman Grobler MPL, Spokesperson on Finance and Economic Development:
The Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency is an embarrassment to the province and should be disbanded with immediate effect.
This entity has managed to spent 99% of its R250 million budget and only achieved 36.2% (41 of 113) of its targets. This performance is worse than the previous financial year, when MEGA only achieved (47.1%) 38 out of its 68 targets.
This was revealed in the 2014/15 annual report where the Auditor General, once again gave MEGA a qualified opinion because of the horrible state of its investment properties and financial assets.
As an entity that should be reducing unemployment, poverty and inequality in Mpumalanga, it seems to be doing the exact opposite.
In the 2014/15 annual report the AG states that MEGA:
- Planned to create 200 job opportunities, but failed to even create 1;
- Planned to assist 480 investors, yet only assisted 248;
- Planned to construct 100 housing units (in Sabie and Lydenburg) and managed to deliver 0 units;
- Planned to assist 28 Agri businesses/co-operatives with funding, yet managed to only assist 2; and
- Planned to create 100 Agricultural jobs and only managed 4.
This department has also doubled its Irregular and Unauthorised Expenditure from R80.4 million in 2013/14 to R155.5 million in the 2014/15 financial year.
The AG further states that the entity did not implement proper record keeping, did not prepare regular and accurate financial and performance reports, and did not comply with laws and regulations. Even the Audit committee failed to review the financial statements.
The 2014/15 annual report also states that MEGA still has not found the 750 housing loan agreements it lost. The housing units planned for construction are not done and assistance to business development is almost non-existent.
The AG was therefore unable to obtain sufficient appropriate audit evidence to confirm that housing loans and related interest were accounted for properly, due to the unavailability of housing loan agreements.
There’s no doubt that MEGA is failing in its mandate to promote economic prosperity in the province. It is the worst performing department in the entire province.
MEC Eric kholwane, simply cannot afford to keep the status quo, and has to show leadership and do away with this entity.