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Public Works looks to Gordhan for help

Oct 04 2011 12:18 I-Net Bridge

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Cape Town - Embattled Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde is to approach Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan about her department's property management trading entity (PMTE), which has been heavily criticised by the auditor general.

"As a matter of urgency, the PMTE needs to be reviewed and I will be discussing it with the minister of finance," Mahlangu-Nkabinde said in a statement issued late on Monday - the day that the department of public works' annual report was tabled in parliament.

In the report the auditor general said there was insufficient audit evidence of the completeness, existence, rights valuations and allocation of properties recorded in the immovable asset register stated at R3.498bn.

The auditor general also found other evidence of irregular and wasteful expenditure, which caused him to issue a "disclaimer" of the department's financial statements - the worst possible rating he could bestow.

In her statement, Mahlangu-Nkabinde stressed her deep concern and said she had anticipated the disclaimer and that the report made for troubling reading.

"There is a clear record of financial mismanagement running into hundreds of millions of rand," she said. "All I can promise South Africa is that we will sort this mess out and turn the department around. That is my job and I will fulfil it."

She said that the situation was salvageable and that the majority of people in the department were honest, hard-working and ashamed of their corrupt colleagues.

Mahlangu-Nkabinde said it was particularly troubling that the auditor general was so critical of the PMTE.

"This organisation was set up so that government could get better control of its property portfolio, but the AG's report shows that this intention has not been properly implemented and the PMTE is not fully functional," she said.



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