• IS provokes sea-change

    It has been a grave mistake to defy both Russia and France, says Leopold Scholtz.

  • Nene's SAA nemesis

    No political figure seems to have the guts to speak out against Dudu Myeni, says Solly Moeng.

  • The mp3 revolution

    Ian Mann takes a look at the war between digital music and the compact disc.

All data is delayed
See More

Govt clamps down on profligate provinces

Dec 06 2011 09:50
Reuters & I-Net Bridge

Johannesburg - Central government took direct control of parts of several provincial administrations on Monday in a clampdown on profligate spending, and to try to iron out long-running problems with shoddy public services.

A cabinet statement said Pretoria had assumed authority over nearly every area of administration in troubled Limpopo province after it asked for a R1bn overdraft to pay civil servants' salaries.

Limpopo, the home of controversial ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, has been plagued by allegations of mismanagement and corruption, especially in the award of government contracts.

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who is under pressure to keep public spending in check, said his department had been concerned for several months about "financial management and the potential for overspending".

"We owe it to taxpayers of this country to ensure that their money is spent well and that there will be proper returns," he told Talk Radio 702.

Under the terms of the takeover, the central government will assume direct control of Limpopo's finances, as well as the education, transport, health and public works departments.

It will investigate alleged corruption and maladministration, Gordhan said.

Pretoria has also stepped in to oversee the finances and police and transport sections of the Free State, and will help sort out a funding crisis in Johannesburg's health sector.

Since the end of apartheid in 1994, the ANC government has spent billions of dollars to improve public services for the millions of blacks largely ignored under white-minority rule.

However, its efforts have been hampered by corruption and a lack of qualified officials at the provincial and municipal levels - especially since many bureaucrats were replaced after the 1994 election that brought the ANC to power.

Last month Moody's cut its outlook for South Africa's A3 credit rating, voicing concern that pressure from unions and black voters wanting greater economic redress for the ills of apartheid would put pressure on the budget.

In October's long-term budget outlook, the Treasury said the deficit this year would be higher than previously forecast, at 5.5% of gross domestic product. 


Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Company Snapshot

We're talking about:


Marketing is a big concern in SA's small business community, followed by a lack of confidence and partnering with the wrong people, according to a survey.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

The 25 basis points interest rate increase is:

Previous results · Suggest a vote