Public Works can't account for R2.1bn

2011-10-03 16:06

Cape Town - The department of public works (DPW) is not able to account for more than R2.1bn worth of goods, services and capital expenditure during the 2010/11 financial year, the auditor general said on Monday.

In the DPW's latest annual report tabled in parliament, the auditor general's report on the department's financial statements said that he was unable to satisfy himself as to the occurrence, accuracy and compliance of goods and services amounting to R819.046m  and expenditure for capital assets stated at R1.340bn.

The auditor general also said that he could not obtain sufficient evidence as to the obligation, valuation and classification of the operating lease commitments of R115m.

He also pointed out that irregular and wasteful expenditure of more than R16m understated wasteful expenditure.

The DPW received an appropriation of R7.365bn for the 2010/11 financial year compared with R6.049bn for the year before. In the last financial year it managed to spend 90% of its budget compared with 94% the year before.

In her foreword, Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde made no mention of the debacle surrounding the lease of two SA Police Service buildings in Pretoria and Durban amounting to almost R2bn.

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found in her investigation of the leases that Mahlangu-Nkabinde had committed maladministration in authorising the leases at rates far above their market value.

Mahlangu-Nkabinde has since taken court action to have the leases declared void.

The auditor general's report also pointed out that the DPW had materially underspent the budget on the immovable asset management programme to the amount of R235m, and the expanded public works programme (EPWP) to the amount of R500m.

"In terms of the EPWP, the bulk of the under-expenditure was due to the infrastructure grant to provinces and municipalities not being transferred due to the under-reporting and poor performance by the reporting bodies eligible for the incentive grant," the auditor general said.

The EPWP is government's main job creation project to help as many unemployed people as possible to find paid work in building roads, schools and other public works.

He said that as a consequence, the department did not achieve its objectives of fast-tracking the construction of selected schools and energy-efficient intervention.

The auditor general also slammed the usefulness of the information supplied for auditing purposes in terms of consistency and measurability.

The auditor general attacked the leadership within the department, accusing the accounting officer (the director general, Mandla Mabuza) for not exercising oversight responsibility regarding financial performance and procedures to enable and support the understanding and execution of internal objectives, processes and responsibilities.

  • fudgepuppy - 2011-10-03 16:26

    That's because it's all been siphoned off into other personal accounts... or used to pay for first-class airline tickets and 5*hotels. Duh

  • scud - 2011-10-03 16:42

    And who will be held accountable??? Nobody-but we will pay for the ANC'S spending madness,wastefulness and theft.

  • Bill - 2011-10-03 16:43

    This is rediculous...! How does one even comment on something as incredible as this...!

  • Tolerant - 2011-10-03 16:44

    Oops, blame it on the previous bosses or if all else fails, it must be apartheids fault?

  • nosiphom - 2011-10-03 16:46

    As the madame Minister told us all, it is not her as she inherited a Poisoned chalice, and she is dealing with it, by signing additional shoddy deals worth another 2 billion !

  • mo-man - 2011-10-03 16:46

    R2.1bn? Small change....

      mo-man - 2011-10-03 16:48

      Lets just tax the rich some more..

  • Mike or Mpho - 2011-10-03 16:47

    LOL. Look into Zuma's pocket, you ar bound to find a big chunk of it there

  • kingv - 2011-10-03 16:49

    There just doesn't seem to be enough days in the week to figure how to defraud the taxpayer's .. damn! The only consolation is that the wheel turns for everyone.

  • patsa - 2011-10-03 16:51

    If public works department cannot account for more than R2billion of tax payers what will parliament do to enforce accountability? Government have experience of accounting rules by now and the issue here is that there are hiding some flaws in tender process. In such an event in the private sector, the head could roll. The cost for the public is too high for incompetence and corruption. We are sacrificing the poor in the altar of corruption. WE need independent body to govern and oversee tender process. Since it would seem the new office of evaluating and monitoring is struggling to find it feet. Besides, this is another government and why should we expect anything different from this departments. Does government have to be inefficient because I think we need a change of culture and mindset.

  • Dougalan - 2011-10-03 16:51

    Mahlangu-Nkabinde needs to be fired on the spot. And indeed most of the ANC ministers. The ANC rob the poor at every turn, greedily filling their own pockets. Proved time and time again. When will the deluded ANC supporters wake up? How much MORE lack of service delivery do they need in order to realise that this is a government for the few 'entitled' ANC fatcats, not for the bulk of South Africans?

  • BunduBabe - 2011-10-03 16:55

    what does it take to fire this useless Minister?? Wait she's a loyal Zuma supporter. Never mind.......

  • so mouse - 2011-10-03 16:59

    O good. Same as the 10 billion that cannot be accounted for by the ANC municipalities. And I'm pretty sure it's all apartheids fault. Wonder what the poorest of the poor voters will say if they realise, this countries financial dilemma is not due to apartheid, but due to mismanagement / selfhelp of the very political party they voted for.

  • c4k4 - 2011-10-03 16:59

    THE SHOW GOES ON.........

  • Davearch - 2011-10-03 17:02

    Put them in JAIL .. bet their memories will suddenly have an amazing recollection ...

  • keketsop - 2011-10-03 17:06

    No wonder our national roads linking South Africa and Lesotho in the Eastern Cape are in such a horrible condition. Believe you me that Lesotho is out-performing with their roads - all tarred right from the SA border including access roads. The ANC government is talking rural development but we are still to see that development.

  • frans.visserdsb - 2011-10-03 17:19

    This sounds like a fun place to work... they get R7.3 bn to spend, cannot account for 2.1bn, and spent another R2bn on dubious leases for police offices.... and the government want us as taxpayers to accept this?

  • Liezl - 2011-10-03 17:26

    That's funny! And the Dalai Lama can not get visa!!!

  • Mallyg - 2011-10-03 17:30

    Why are they so useless???

  • ttshabalala - 2011-10-03 17:32

    What a pity

  • saburger - 2011-10-03 17:34

    For a country, overcommitted in social responsibilities and underperforming in services, this is hart breaking news! The government are destroying SA. Time to wake up voters!

  • george60 - 2011-10-03 17:35

    Can anybody in the ANC circus tell us what action will be taken to bring these thieves to book? Seems there is a competition going on to see who can get away with the biggest amount? Even the budget for Robben Eiland is short R28 million?

  • adiama - 2011-10-03 17:36

    Since you are so quick in legalizing all things you can't fix (trading in rhino horn), you should consider legalizing corruption too... At least your record will look better...

  • Airwolf - 2011-10-03 17:36

    That is is nearly R6m a day for a year! Not even in South Africa did I think that it was possible to steal that kind of money.

  • MarcusMagnus - 2011-10-03 17:39

    We live in a kleptocricy not a democracy these Kleptomaniacs will steal any and every thing

  • Thomas - 2011-10-03 17:40


  • zaatheist - 2011-10-03 17:45

    Ag, 2 + billion. Peanuts in ANC speak

  • Hux - 2011-10-03 17:45

    There is no mystery about this. Govt. officials have stolen the money. End of story.

  • Darren Nisbet - 2011-10-03 17:47

    Check their bank accounts???????

  • Pierre du Plessis - 2011-10-03 17:55

    Its all in Swiss bank accounts already

  • kriskros - 2011-10-03 17:57

    So ry die trein, die gravy trein......

  • Bokke - 2011-10-03 18:03

    I really wish we can have public officials who will really be serious about their work and a President who will really crack the whip!! Seriously, getting qualified audit report every year!!!!! Why does Government tolerate this! Surely we can't blame apartheid for this....!! This is pure corruption!! I would like to challenge the president on this one..... he promised to "fight corruption"!! How long is this going to be tolerated??

      SaintBruce - 2011-10-03 20:16

      A Minister is an administrator and holds accountability for acts and omissions of every person under their control in their Public Office. To administrate is simply to manage by using systems rooted in communications. To account is simply to record the activities that are managed. To be unable to account for both Capital asset purchases/ expenditure and the purchase of goods and services means there is NO management and NO recording of these transactions! How can all this money be spent and an AUDITOR GENERAL cannot find documentary evidence to support these activities! President Jacob Zuma is the CEO of SA Inc. he is ultimately accountable for the acts and omission of his directors (Ministers). Such a blatant mismanagement report requires the offending Minister to gracefully resign or be fired! However, should that offending Minsiter stand his / her ground, then the CEO has to act by firing said offender. As the ultimate Shareholder (read all taxpayers here) we should make a collective demand that such punitive action is taken for such maladministration by the Minister. This, of course, is what a civilised government would do, right? So we wait to see what the CEO does about theft on his watch....if anything!

      Bess - 2011-10-04 06:41

      it is the officials stealing the money

  • Mandla - 2011-10-03 18:11

    Tender Tender Tender Tender,it has all been spent on tenders for friends and relatives of cadres deployed in governmant.Dr Blade is right when he says lets do awoy with tenders,South Africa needs to support him in this.

  • hellodanie - 2011-10-03 18:23

    That's about R450 'stolen' for the year(if in fact it is stolen) from every tax payer in South Africa. That's a lot for almost all tax payers to loose. We should demand answers on this issue??

  • cyrus - 2011-10-03 19:59

    WILL IT EVER END; and there are so many unfortunates out there living on the bread line. These white collar crooks are a disgrace and must be hunted down and punished severely.Bring on the death penalty and make an example of a few and that will put the breeze up these morons.

      James Weather - 2011-10-03 22:28

      Surely they have to be accountable to someone? SURELY criminal charges should be laid?

  • parkavenue - 2011-10-03 20:09

    I am afraid that these people do not have the mental capacity to work with our money.Time for change is imminent

  • JanSlim - 2011-10-03 22:40

    Simple, conduct a forensic investigation, find the money, and who took it...

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