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DA deliberately misled the public on 2017/2018 Audit Outcomes Figures

11 October 2018

The ANC Study Group on Appropriations has noted the deliberate alarmist and false claims by the Democratic Alliance stating that the 2017/2018 audit outcomes reveal that irregular expenditure has reached a staggering R72.6 billion.

Yesterday, the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA), Mr Kimi Makwetu represented the national and provincial audit outcomes for the 2017/18 financial year in a joint meeting of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), and the Standing Committee on Appropriations (Scoa). The AG reported that irregular expenditure amount to R45.5 billion in the current financial, refuting the DA's R72.6 billion figure. This therefore shows a 1% increase in irregular expenditure in 2017/2018, as compared to 2016/2017 where irregular expenditure was recorded at R45.3 billion.

The AGSA further stated that this is the official number in matters relating to irregular expenditure, and that any other number that is being thrown around in the public discourse is not generated by AGSA's office. The ANC is bemused by how the DA reaches figures that are not even signed off by the Office of the AGSA.

The R5 billion in irregular expenditure by the SABC, is at is at best, a fabrication of the DA's imagination; the same applies to the R 3.2 billion by the Department Correctional Services. The AG asserts that this is not the case, as R571 million in irregular expenditure has been unveiled at the SABC, whilst irregular expenditure at the Department of Correctional Services amounts to R1.8 Billion.

Whilst we don't condone the R45.5 billion in irregular expenditure, we are of the view that cheap politicking should not come at the expense of the Office of the AGSA with an intention of misleading the public.

Whilst noting that the figures released in Parliament yesterday are provisional, and that the final 2017/2018 AGSA audit report will be published in November, we are however concerned about irregular expenditure amounting to R45.5 billion for the financial year under review. This shows poor supply chain management in matters relating to procurement and negligence in not adhering legislation such as the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA).

We are also concerned by the reported under spending of grants by national and provincial departments, as this undermines governments efforts to eradicate poverty through the creation of entrepreneurial opportunities that will empower the poor.

We welcome the increase in investigations on unauthorized, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure from 74% in the previous financial year (2016/2017), to 86% in the financial year under review. This shows the commitment of the AGSA in consequence management and accountability.

Issued by the Whip of the ANC Study Group on Appropriations, comrade Ndaba Gcwabaza.


Nonceba Mhlauli

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