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Makwetu reveals govt's irregular expenditure balloons to R62bn

Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu called on government leaders to take urgent action to halt the trend, restore accountability and prevent the mismanagement of public funds.

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

CAPE TOWN - Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu on Wednesday said the audit results for national and provincial departments and entities for the past financial year were disappointing.

He called on government leaders to take urgent action to halt the trend, restore accountability and prevent the mismanagement of public funds.

"These are disappointing audit results for 2018/2019 as they show slow progress over the past five financial years – meaning that the improvements promised over a number of years have not come forth."

Makwetu’s office audited a total of 770 national and provincial departments and entities and 14 state-owned enterprises.

He said irregular expenditure increased to R62.60 billion from the R52 billion reported last year.

Unauthorised expenditure was high at R1.365 billion.

Makwetu said fruitless and wasteful expenditure continued to rise, with 223 auditees losing R849 million in the current year. Over the past five years, more than R4 billion of government spending was fruitless and wasteful.