Johannesburg - A cholera outbreak in Limpopo three years ago cost R39.5m, the provincial health department said in Polokwane on Tuesday.
Department head Daisy Mafobelo told the standing
committee on public accounts that the expenditure was unavoidable as the
outbreak was declared a disaster. Spending was therefore necessary to
stop the outbreak that claimed 10 lives.
Of the total amount, R30m was unauthorised
expenditure, according to the auditor general's report. The settlement
of this had yet to be approved by the legislature.
Mafobelo said the amount was declared in the 2009/2010
financial year, in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act.
The act regulates the spending models for government funds.
Committee chairperson Derrick Ngobeni said the
department's answers on questions relating to irregular and wasteful
expenditure left much to be desired.
"The department has not responded well to the questions
raised, and on many other matters revealed by the auditor general, the
head of department has been found wanting. The answers given were not
He said the department needed to present a plan to prevent the anomalies from recurring.
Ngobeni said as punishment for its failure to
adequately answer to the AG's report, the department would have to pay
for the recordings, catering and other expenses incurred by the
legislature during the hearing.
The purpose of the committee's visit was to get government departments to achieve clean audits.
Only two of the province's nine departments had
achieved this in the last financial year, namely agriculture and