MUNICIPAL WOES R14.75bn
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.