Crackdown on irregular expenditure could save SA money - AG

Auditor General Kimi Makwetu presented his annual report on national and provincial audit outcomes at Parliament on Wednesday.

Auditor-General (AG) Kimi Makwetu. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN – Auditor General Kimi Makwetu says cracking down on irregular expenditure could save the country billions of rand and curb fraud corruption.

He’s revealed that government departments and entities notched up irregular expenditure of more than R46 billion over the past financial year – an 80% increase on the previous year's figure of nearly R26 billion.

Makwetu presented his annual report on national and provincial audit outcomes at Parliament on Wednesday.

The report covers 484 auditees – which include 169 national and provincial departments, and 315 public entities – with a total budget of R1,2 trillion.

Continued flouting of the rules when it comes to procuring goods and services is the main reason for irregular expenditure ballooning.

The Auditor General says this also allows for fraud and corruption.

“People who may have a shareholding in a particular company, or who are trading as employees of the state, could take advantage of this environment in terms of irregular expenditure.”

Makwetu’s lamented the lack of consequences for officials who incur irregular expenditure.

“The bottom line is that this is an area where potential savings could be made if instances on compliance with the regulations could be put on the table.”

He says the passenger rail agency of South Africa was responsible for nearly R14 billion of the irregular spending.

Visit EWN's special municipalspending portal - created in partnership with the Auditor-General - to see how your taxes are being spent at local government level.

(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)