‘Years of leadership instability played major role’ in dept's financial shambles
The Department of Water and Sanitation and its water boards racked up R4.5 billion in irregular expenditure during the 2016/17 financial year.
CAPE TOWN - Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu says years of leadership instability have played a major role in the collapse of financial controls at the Water and Sanitation Department.
The department and its water boards racked up R4.5 billion in irregular expenditure during the 2016/17 financial year, and there’s a question mark over its financial sustainability.
Makwetu and officials are briefing Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts and the Water and Sanitation Oversight Committee.
The two committees are preparing to unleash a full-scale inquiry into the dire state that the department is in and will also be briefed by Treasury on Tuesday.
The position of director-general at the Department of Water and Sanitation has been a revolving door for years, with five serving during former minister Nomvula Mokonyne’s tenure alone, often in acting positions.
This is one of the underlying causes of the financial shambles at the department, according to Makwetu.
“Years of instability in leadership sometimes contributes to the deterioration in the systems of financial management and internal control.”
The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has been tasked to investigate some key infrastructure projects but will not be presenting on Tuesday for fear of jeopardising possible criminal prosecutions that might result.
The committee is to get a legal opinion on how to manage the SIU’s information.
(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)