ANC’s gross unau­tho­rised spend­ing in Tsh­wane

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - RAPULA MOAT­SHE

THE FOR­MER ANC ad­min­is­tra­tion in Tsh­wane in­curred a stag­ger­ing R1.914 bil­lion in unau­tho­rised ex­pen­di­ture in its fi­nal year in of­fice, the 2015/16 mu­nic­i­pal au­dit re­port has re­vealed.

At least 43% of the unau­tho­rised ex­pen­di­ture in the fi­nal fi­nan­cial year the ANC ran the city – be­fore it was top­pled by the DA-led coali­tion – re­lated to non-cash items.

“The ex­pen­di­ture can mainly be at­trib­uted to em­ployee-re­lated costs, debt im­pair­ment, de­pre­ci­a­tion, fi­nance charges, bulk pur­chases, con­tracted ser­vices, trans­fers and grants, and losses on the dis­posal of prop­erty, plant and equip­ment,” the re­port stated.

The metro was placed at the top of the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties that had in­curred unau­tho­rised ex­pen­di­ture.

The amount was an in­crease from R786m the ANC-led city in­curred in 2014/15 fi­nan­cial year.

Unau­tho­rised ex­pen­di­ture refers to the ex­pen­di­ture that was in­curred by mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties out­side the bud­get ap­proved by the coun­cil or not in ac­cor­dance with the con­di­tions of its grant.

The metro has once again clinched an un­qual­i­fied au­dit re­port – but it was also caught on the wrong side of the law re­gard­ing its han­dling of the pub­lic purse.

The 2015/16 mu­nic­i­pal au­dit re­port re­leased yes­ter­day by Au­di­tor-Gen­eral Kimi Mak­wetu showed some im­prove­ments.

In the same breath, the re­port didn’t spare harsh crit­i­cism of the city for top­ping the list of 10 mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties that in­curred the high­est unau­tho­rised ex­pen­di­ture in the coun­try.

But the pre­sen­ta­tion about the poor per­for­mance of the city’s spend­ing didn’t end there.

The city was placed fifth among mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties con­sid­ered to be the high­est con­trib­u­tors to ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture.

Mak­wetu noted that ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture was costs not in­curred in the man­ner that was pre­scribed by leg­is­la­tion.

“Such ex­pen­di­ture did not nec­es­sar­ily mean that money had been wasted or that fraud had been com­mit­ted,” Mak­wetu said.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, the city was found to have ir­reg­u­larly spent an amount of R653m.

Of the money ir­reg­u­larly spent, a to­tal of R517m was funded by grant money.

At least R293m was ir­reg­u­larly spent on the con­tro­ver­sial Wi-Fi con­tract awarded to Project Isizwe. Mak­wetu also found that the ap­point­ment of the con­trac­tor didn’t fol­low com­pet­i­tive bid­ding pro­cesses.

The metro also trans­gressed ten­der award pro­cesses when it came to the A Re Yeng con­tract.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­port, the con­tract was awarded to a con­trac­tor who didn’t qual­ify to de­liver the ser­vice – and at least R189m had been ir­reg­u­larly spent on it.

In ad­di­tion, a num­ber of ac­ci­dents oc­curred at the in­te­grated rapid pub­lic trans­port net­work lo­ca­tions, some of which re­lated to con­struc­tion, point­ing to safety risks. Mak­wetu strongly rec­om­mended that ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture in­curred be dealt with by the coun­cil.

The re­port said in­ves­ti­ga­tions should also be launched into all in­stances of ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture. This was to de­ter­mine if any of­fi­cial was li­able for the ex­pen­di­ture. Where the ex­pen­di­ture con­sti­tuted a crim­i­nal of­fence it should be re­ported to the SAPS, it pointed out.

More damn­ing find­ings showed that the metro didn’t achieve tar­gets on the project funded by the ur­ban set­tle­ment de­vel­op­ment grant to up­grade from gravel to tar in Ekan­gala.

The city im­proved on per­for­mance re­port­ing, Mak­wetu said, but “there were re­peat find­ings on ma­te­rial mis­state­ments in the fi­nan­cial state­ments and non-com­pli­ance with leg­is­la­tion”.

The re­peat find­ings were at­trib­uted to “in­ad­e­quate re­view pro­cesses by fi­nance of­fi­cials”.

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