'Gauteng did not waste 6bn'

24 January 2012 - 02:22 By SIPHO MASONDO
Gauteng MEC for finance and economic development, Mandla Nkomfe during a budget speech.
Gauteng MEC for finance and economic development, Mandla Nkomfe during a budget speech.
Image: Martin Rhodes

Gauteng finance MEC Mandla Nkomfe has dismissed media reports that the provincial government wasted R6.6-billion through incurring unauthorised, wasteful and irregular expenditure last year.

This follows weekend media reports that South Africa's nine provinces wasted R21-billion in wasteful, irregular and unauthorised expenditure, of which R6.6-billion was in Gauteng.

Addressing the media in Johannesburg, Nkomfe, who was flanked by MECs for roads and transport and Infrastructure Ismail Vadi and Bheki Nkosi, said the money was not wasted.

Explaining how the R6.6-billion was incurred Nkomfe said:

  • The department of health and social development incurred R2.2-billion irregular expenditure as a result of accruals in monies owed to service providers since 2007;
  • The department of roads and transport also incurred R2.2-billion as a result of having to pay out companies whose contracts were cancelled.

The contracts were cancelled after an auditor-general investigation last year revealed that some of them were illegal and irregular. Vadi, who was also present at the briefing said he also had to fork out about R1.6-billion to bus operators whose contracts did not follow procurement procedures.

  • Unauthorised expenditure of R1.4-billion was incurred due to unforeseen circumstances such as the flooding that hit Duduza in the East Rand last year. "In terms of the law, where a department has incurred an unauthorised expenditure, it is only the standing committee on public accounts which will engage with the veracity of such an expenditure and make final determination if it was warranted," said Nkomfe, adding that he will request Scopa to condone the expenditure;
  • The department of infrastructure also discovered that contracts were awarded irregularly, forcing the department to incur an irregular expenditure of R242-million. However, Nkosi said this was corrected by revamping the department's procurement systems.

Auditor general Terence Nombembe awarded Gauteng premier Nomvula Mokonyane's department a trophy for being able to obtain an unqualified audit last year.