Exponential increase in government’s fruitless and wasteful expenditure
A review of the latest national government departments’ annual reports reveals that over R 427.4 million has been incurred in fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the 2010/11 financial year. This is a 1 600% increase from last year when, according to the Auditor-General’s Report on National Audit Outcomes, the figure stood at R26.6 million.
According to a list of expenditure deemed wasteful and fruitless by the Auditor-General in the annual reports of national departments, the following amounts were wasted:
Home Affairs – R 334 640 000
Rural Development & Land Reform – R73 406 000
Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries – R 12 199 000
Health – R2 556 000
Basic Education – R 376 000
Communications – R 1 438 000
Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs – R 336 000
Correctional Services – R 6000
Economic Development – R27 000
Justice & Constitutional Development – R849 000
Police – R771 000
Public Enterprises – R4 000
Public Service & Administration – R311 000
Science & Technology – R110 000
Social Development – R7 000
Transport – R12 000
Water Affairs – R369 000
Had reasonable care been exercised, this R427 million could have been directed towards improving the livelihoods of thousands. R427 million builds approximately 7 000 houses, 10 new schools, and could provide salaries for 2 500 teachers.
This figure does not include the Departments of Sports and Recreation, State Security, and Women, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities. These departments have yet to table their annual reports, despite the passing of the deadline for tabling in Parliament on 30 September.
In July 2010, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe announced that a task team would be established to prepare recommendations for Cabinet on wasteful expenditure. Nothing has happened.
In the meantime, while we wait to hear from the Deputy President, wasteful expenditure is rising exponentially.
I have written to Deputy President Motlanthe, requesting feedback on the progress of the task team he promised to establish. If this latest revelation does not kick his office into gear, then nothing will.