R9 billion in irregular expenditure by Gauteng departments puts service delivery at risk

Gauteng residents continue to suffer through the ineptitude of the provincial government which is constantly failing to clamp down on irregular expenditure, fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

This information was revealed this week at a two-day breakaway held by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA).

According to the report that deals with the Public Finance Management Act Provincial Audit outcomes, irregular expenditure to the tune of R9,73 billion was incurred, while fruitless and wasteful expenditure amounted to R378 million.

The following departments are the top offenders when it comes to irregular expenditure:

• Health- R2,57 billion
• Roads and Transport- R2,48 billion
• Education- R812 million
• Infrastructure Development- R340 million
• e-Government- R413 million

The main reason for the large amount of irregular expenditure and fruitless and wasteful expenditure is due to non-compliance with Supply Chain Management (SCM) processes.

This is very concerning as it means that loopholes exist within the system for potential corruption to occur.

The DA proposes that to clamp down on non-compliance with the SCM, officials who circumvent the SCM process must face consequence management. In a situation where the same officials are found to be contravening the policy and procedures put in a place, formal disciplinary hearings must take place. The impunity for floating processes and violating policy must end.

If these efforts are intensified by the current government, public funds will be managed correctly, and we will not see a repeat of the recent Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) scandal.

A DA government will ensure that the SCM policies that are in place are followed, and if any official disregards these directives, they will face immediate disciplinary action.

Taxpayers’ money should be spent transparently and meticulous records of where every cent is spent must be kept accordingly.