AG's concerns must not be rubbished like Khoza's were
The Times Editorial: Auditor-General Terence Nombembe has sounded a warning that the government would do well to heed - that the financial management of the state's affairs is going badly awry.
Opening a building in Pretoria last week, Nombembe raised his concerns that the government has steadfastly refused to implement the corrective measures his office recommended to put the country's financial affairs in order.
Whether the ultra-sensitive ruling party will take these concerns to heart remains to be seen. Hopefully, senior ANC leaders will not react to Nombembe in the same manner in which they appear to treat criticism or concerns expressed by business leaders.
ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe's response to Nedbank chairman Reuel Khoza's comments about the quality of leadership in South Africa was cynical and personal in the extreme. So, too, were the reactions of other party leaders.
But Nombembe's comments are not dissimilar to what Khoza expressed - that the government has not shown the requisite leadership to deal with very big problems.
In Business Day yesterday Nombembe was quoted as saying: "I see things that are worrying and I see things that require a response. Every leader in this country has heard this message."
Nombembe sounded the alarm, too, about the results of municipal audits that he is to release soon: "Bad results are regarded as the norm and when people get a disclaimer or qualified reports, little happens to them to show that is unacceptable. That is the culture that we need to be concerned about."
It appears that the disrespect for Nombembe's office permeates all spheres of the government. But more worrying is the fact that government officials - as he points out - are incapable of doing their jobs.
Unfortunately, for all of us, South Africa cannot survive on a steady diet of contempt and incompetence.