R6 million lost after Gauteng govt ‘erroneously’ pays Microsoft in dollars

The DA was told the finance and e-government department paid $20 million instead of R20 million to Microsoft Ireland.

Picture: Pixabay.com

JOHANNESBURG - The Gauteng government has lost more than R6 million of taxpayers’ money after an official processed an electronic payment in the wrong currency.

Finance MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko confirmed the blunder in reply to a question asked by the Democratic Alliance (DA) in the legislature on Tuesday.

The MEC claims the transaction was an error and has instituted an investigation.

The DA was told the finance and e-government department paid $20 million instead of R20 million to Microsoft Ireland.

DA member of the provincial legislature Adriana Randall said the lost millions could have bought roughly 48,046 Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines or helped the people in other ways.

"The money that was lost could've also gone a long way in improving the efficiency of the Gauteng broadband network that is supposed to assist our residents who are seeking job opportunities and connecting our people to government."

In a statement, the DA said: "After the error was made, e-Government requested Provincial Treasury to recall the full amount of R318 307 941.79 from Microsoft. The money was successfully recalled in February 2021, with an amount of R 311 464 203.81, resulting in a shortfall of R6 843 737.90 because of the exchange rate."

The party has welcomed the investigation into the matter.

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