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Irregular expenditure by govt up from R51bn to R61.3bn, AG tells MPs

Makwetu briefed a joint meeting of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts and Standing Committee on Appropriations.

FILE: Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu said irregular expenditure by national and provincial departments and state-owned entities was up from just under R51 billion in 2017/2018 to R61.3 billion for the past financial year.

Makwetu briefed a joint meeting of Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts and Standing Committee on Appropriations.

The committees will be interrogating offending departments and entities in the coming months on their audit outcomes.

Makwetu said the figure of R61.35 billion included R18.5 billion in irregular expenditure disclosed in the unaudited financial statements of departments and entities whose audits were still outstanding.

KwaZulu Natal (R12.42bn), national departments (R11.25 bn) and Gauteng province (R7.13bn) were together responsible for 72% of the irregular expenditure.

Makwetu said the figures were not the full picture because it excluded irregular expenditure by some of the SOEs his office does not an audit, including Eskom and Transnet.

Audits still outstanding as at the end of last month included the SA Nuclear Energy Corporation, the Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority and South African Airways, whose audit for 2017/18 was also not yet done.

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