AG laments lack of consequences for squandering public money

Auditor General Kimi Makwetu is briefing the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, on the Audit Outcomes for 2018, 2019. And he says Parliament must take action against departments and entities, that don't put measures in place to prevent losses. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu says the level of waste gives him goosebumps.

Makwetu says the reason irregular expenditure continues to climb is that there aren’t enough consequences for those who squander public money and that's why they continue to do so.

Over the past financial year, irregular spending increased to over R60-billion, which is R10-billion more than in 2017.

“Some will raise your hair when you look at the extent of irregular expenditure despite the fact that the debits and credits were found to be credible,” Makwetu said.

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The health and transport departments in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng along with the national department of water and sanitation, are the biggest culprits.

“We ought to insist that preventative measures are the order of the day because a lot of the failure and the deviation from financial disciplines is not because there’s a lack of control, but the kind of control that gets instituted, are more like compliance controls. I don’t want to get into trouble so I will sign this document,” Makwetu said.

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Makwetu says he’s not able to go after all those responsible for the wasteful expenditure at once but he’s set his sights on 16 entities for now.

The Auditor-General will be briefing the chairpersons of all Parliament's committees in two weeks' time to discuss the audit outcomes.

Parliament says it can't continue to condone more money for departments and state-owned enterprise, who ignore and don't cooperate with the auditor-general.