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WHAT IS THE PRESIDENCY SAYING ABOUT THE THREE DEPARTMENTS THAT SHOCKINGLY FAILED THE LAST AUDIT TEST – COPE

Cope LogoPresident Zuma’s words do not match his deeds. He is the head of one of the largest and most expensive governments in the world. Every year he speaks about fighting corruption but corruption remains rampant. He and his administration are unable to manage taxpayers’ money correctly and efficiently.

Even now, there are departments that still do not follow competitive or fair procurement processes. This is how officials enrich themselves at the expense of the state. As they suffer no real consequences, they carry on flouting procurement rules.

A staggering 31% of auditees had material findings against them in respect of transgressing supply chain management policy and rules. These departments and entities that flouted the PFMA. contributed to irregular expenditure of R25.7-billion in the past financial year.

The departments of Basic Education, Health and Public Works remain major offenders.

COPE wants the respective ministers of Basic Education, Health and Public Works to explain to the public why their respective departments are lacking financial controls and why the Public Finance Management Act is not being implemented strictly and fully. They are accountable to the citizens of South Africa and they need to explain the shocking failure in their departments.

Departments are required by law to report on their financial affairs in a standard and transparent manner. Where transparency is lacking, corruption flourishes. Officials have been siphoning off funds in one way or the other in a big way. The fact that the AG’s consolidated general report on national and provincial outcomes qualified or disclaimed 40% of the financial statements of Basic Education, Health and Public Works, reveals a rotten state of affairs there.

Each year the Auditor General requests the political leadership to take charge by following up and visiting real consequences on those who brought the department into disrepute. Unfortunately, many ministers are deaf to those pleas and therefore irregular expenditure is incurred repeatedly.

Will the Minister in charge of Monitoring and Evaluation or better still, the President and his deputy address this matter publicly and reveal to the nation whether the Ministers of Basic Education, Health and Public Works had been summoned and put on notice to deliver clean audit outcomes or be fired. We have the right to know.

Issued by Dennis Bloem, Cope spokesperson

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