The auditor-general’s report into the state of Limpopo’s affairs reads like a manual on how not to run a government.
It contains a damning indictment of the province’s political leadership, which is blamed for the mess.
auditor-general’s general report on the outcome of the Limpopo
government audit for the 2010/11 financial year provides more detail on
the apocalyptic picture painted by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan this
week as he described a province nearly R3bn in the red and with
civil servants fomenting rebellion.
The scale of the
administration rescue that confronts the national government in Premier
Cassel Mathale’s province is spelled out in the audit’s overview, in
which the Limpopo education, health and public works departments feature
as the key transgressors.
State procurement in Limpopo – which
has been in the spotlight over the rise and influence of ANC Youth
League-connected “tenderpreneurs” here – was riddled with corruption and
irregularities, and contracts to state officials.
» In the
education department, supporting documents could not be provided to
auditors for more than 600 contracts worth more than R150m that
had been awarded to state officials. Auditors couldn’t determine if 27
public works contracts had been awarded legally – or what their value
» In the health department, 11 contracts worth more than R25m were awarded to state officials. One state official scored an
education department contract worth nearly R4.5m.
reports show that contracts were awarded to bidders “who are known to
have committed a corrupt or fraudulent act in competing for the
contract”. It did not say who these bidders were.
» Business was
also given to bidders who did not provide tax clearance certificates and
to bidders who had not completed “conflict of interest” declarations
about their ties to state officials.
» The province’s information
technology systems were a mess, with gaping security holes and little
to prevent access to and tampering with financial information.
Political oversight of official spending had utterly collapsed.
Limpopo’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts was a year behind
reviewing yearly reports and two years behind “tabling corrective
The report observed: “During the discussion of the prior
years’ outcomes, the Premier (Mathale) undertook to ensure that Scopa
decisions were implemented without intimidation. This commitment,
however, becomes meaningless if no decisions are taken.”
the Limpopo education department revealed for the first time why no
books were ordered: it was out of cash. Although a new curriculum
requiring new textbooks was being introduced countrywide for Grades 1 to
3 and Grade 10, several publishers confirmed that the province had yet
to order textbooks. - City Press