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Irregular govt spending up

Irregular expenditure rose from R1,8 billion in 2011/2012 to R2,4 billion in 2012/2013.

The newly appointed Auditor General Kimi Makwetu. Picture: AGSA.

CAPE TOWN - Irregular expenditure rose from R1,8 billion in the 2011/2012 financial year to R2,4 billion in 2012/2013, newly appointed Auditor General Kimi Makwetu revealed on Wednesday.

He was briefing Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on audit outcomes released in 2013.

The Departments of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Public Works, Correctional Services, Transport and Defence were the main culprits.

Over the same period, unauthorised expenditure rose from R50 million in 2011/2012 to R461 million in 2012/2013.

The amount of fruitless and wasteful expenditure by national government departments has decreased by more than R300 million.

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Public Works, Rural Development, Arts and Culture and Statistics South Africa accounted for 91 percent of fruitless and wasteful expenditure for the 2012/20313 financial year.

In 2010/2011, the amount was R429 million.

Makwetu's highlighted the lack of financial skills in government departments.

"People are doing functions in financial administration that sometimes, there's evidence, they do not have the minimum competencies required to do."

He says 93 percent of ministries have been unable to comply with financial legislation and prescripts.

Makwetu says unless this is reversed, there's little chance of major improvement.