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R25bn of irregular expenditure by govt departments

The AG has released his report on national and provincial government departments for 2014/2015.

FILE: Kimi Makwetu. Picture: AGSA.

JOHANNESBURG - The Auditor General's (AG) report has shown irregular spending amounting to billions, as well as fruitless and wasteful expenditure in government departments.

Kimi Makwetu has released his report on the national and provincial government departments for the 2014/2015 financial year.

Makwetu has revealed major issues around financial maladministration with irregular expenditure amounting to more than R25 billion in the last financial year.

At the same time 72 percent of national and provincial departments did not obtain clean audits, however, this is a 2 percent improvement compared to the previous period.

#Auditor Top Provinces with clean audits: Western Cape 83% - Gauteng 54% - Free state 32% - KZN 22%

The report indicates that there's been a reduction in the value of fruitless and wasteful expenditure, but it amounts to a whopping R936 million rand for the year.

The AG says there's been a slight improvement in audit results for government departments but he says spending can be controlled if proper processes are followed.

"If one summarises it, it's expenditure incurred in vain. No one can say it's uncontrollable, it is controllable. Pay attention when you do things, otherwise they attract costs."

The report on irregular expenditure may expose those in departments who are abusing the system.

Makwetu says the top performing provinces with clean audits are the Western Cape and Gauteng.

He says education, health and public works are allocated the bulk of the budget, and while there have been slight improvements in how these departments spend, the Limpopo education department has once again come under the spotlight.

The AG says this department is one of the worst performers in the past financial year.

"It's a status with regards to the type of difficulties that have been seen before, where issues estimating and developing distribution of textbooks that had become major thorny issue in the past. The audit is flagging major uncertainty when it comes to financial management matters."

At the same time the Supreme Court of Appeal has criticised the department for its failure to deliver textbooks.

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