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Makwetu: Govt’s R50bn in irregular expenditure could rise

This is because the audits of a number of state-owned companies, including South African Airways, SA Express, and Denel, have yet to be finalised.

FILE: Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu says the R50 billion in irregular expenditure racked up by government departments and state entities could rise.

This is because the audits of a number of state-owned companies, including South African Airways, SA Express, and Denel, have yet to be finalised.

Makwetu briefed Parliament’s Standing Committees on Public Accounts and appropriations on Wednesday on the national and provincial audit outcomes for the past financial year.

He painted a picture of declining financial health in government departments and state entities, saying there’s been only limited improvement in accountability for government spending.

Of the 434 departments and entities audited only 99 received clean audits, a worse outcome than last year.

While irregular expenditure went up by R5 billion and could rise higher, fruitless and wasteful spending soared by 200% from just under a billion to R2.5 billion.

Makwetu said: “Let’s just summarise it by saying, it is money that we must all be worried about.”

He says most of the irregular expenditure was due to non-compliance with the law governing supply chain management.

His office was unable to audit procurement worth R6.5 billion because of missing and incomplete information. Fifty-six percent of auditees had procurement processes that were unfair or uncompetitive.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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