Finweek English Edition - - THE WEEK -

South Africa has climbed from 53rd place to 52nd out of 61 coun­tries in the lat­est world com­pet­i­tive­ness rank­ings by Swiss busi­ness school IMD, re­ported. Key con­cerns for the econ­omy high­lighted by IMD in­clude poor skills and high un­em­ploy­ment, poor pub­lic ser­vice de­liv­ery and per­ceived cor­rup­tion lev­els. The im­prove­ment on the IMD rank­ings, which mea­sure coun­tries’ abil­ity to cre­ate and main­tain an en­vi­ron­ment in which en­ter­prises can com­pete, come after the World Eco­nomic Fo­rum re­ported in Septem­ber that SA had climbed seven places, to 49th, on its global com­pet­i­tive­ness in­dex, re­vers­ing a four-year slide, the news­pa­per said. That im­prove­ment was largely at­trib­uted to an im­prove­ment in the pro­vi­sion­ing of in­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tions tech­nol­ogy. Over the past five years (from 2010/11 to 2014/15) col­lec­tively 72 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and mu­nic­i­pal en­ti­ties have re­ceived clean au­dits from the au­di­tor-gen­eral.

How­ever, ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture since 2010/11 has more than dou­bled, to R14.75bn, the au­di­tor-gen­eral, Kimi Mak­wetu, said dur­ing a pre­sen­ta­tion in Pre­to­ria on 1 June.

Fruit­less and waste­ful ex­pen­di­ture dur­ing 2014/15 was R1.34bn, with the main con­trib­u­tors be­ing mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties from Mpumalanga, the Eastern Cape, North West, Free State and North­ern Cape. This ex­pen­di­ture was mainly in­curred “in vain”, such as in­ter­est charged on not meet­ing pay­ments on time.

Unau­tho­rised ex­pen­di­ture in­creased three­fold to R15.32bn since 2010/11.

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