CAPE TOWN, November 2 – The African National Congress (ANC) on Thursday described the rapid increase in irregular expenditure by national and province government department as well as state-owned enterprises as shameless.
In a statement, the ANC welcomed an announcement by Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu on Wednesday that the number of clean audits increased from 113 to 126 entities, but said the regression in terms of other key indicators was disappointing.
“The African National Congress finds the increase in irregular expenditure to R45bn in the 2016/17 financial year shameless and demonstrating a brazen disregard for accountability and the commitment to clean governance from those tasked with prudent management of the public purse,” the statement said.
“Accordingly, the ANC calls for strong consequence management for the lapses and failures on the part of management and officials.”
The consequences should include recouping irregularly spent monies from those liable for irregular expenditure, reporting cases for criminal investigation to police, and withholding the budgets of departments and entities until internal financial controls are tightened.
On Tuesday, Makwetu announced irregular expenditure ballooned by over 55 percent in 2016/2017 when compared to the previous financial year, topping R45 billion. The AG’s office was basing the increase on a figure of R29 billion irregular expenditure in the 2015-2016 cycle.
The Auditor-General said had the irregular expenditure of entities whose audits have not been completed been factored, the total amount of irregular expenditure could rise to as high as R65 billion.
Irregular expenditure happens when departments and entities spend money outside the prescripts of the Public Finance Management Act.
– African News Agency (ANA)