Do we really need these sinkholes?

2011-12-10 10:15

The central government takeover of ­departments in three provincial ­administrations is a long overdue ­signal to the free-spending ways of this second tier of government that the party must end.

The system is not working and our political leaders must, sooner or later, bite the provincial bullet and ask: do we really need them? We don’t think so based on the ­following five reasons.

1. This week’s action by the Treasury to take over departments in Gauteng, the Free State and Limpopo shows financial management is almost non-existent.

Overspending is rampant and the departments of three provinces have together ­depleted their funds as well as overdrafts.

That’s pretty shocking when you balance it against the poor standards of delivery in each province, and consider that staff numbers and salaries have been substantially boosted since President Jacob Zuma came to power, bolstered by the votes of public service unions.

2. The auditor-general has shown that despite the growing public sector wage bill – which ­Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan says is ­crowding out spending on infrastructure, ­education and health – the use of consultants across government is widespread. In effect, you are paying a double public sector wage bill.

This week, analysts pointed out that the national government had good skills, but that the provinces and municipalities lacked basic financial skills. They were most likely to use consultants.

3. Because the provinces are responsible for the largest chunk of public sector spending, they have become the favoured location of tenderpreneurs – the term used to describe politically connected owners of businesses who have corralled the state tender system into tightly controlled networks.

Our series of investigations this year has shown how Limpopo is run by a mafia-like network of influential political cronies where, for example, a company partly owned by the family trust of ANC Youth League president Julius Malema has taken over the running of a government department’s procurement processes.

The public protector is probing whether such contracts are legal.

4. The auditor-general has revealed that ­spending on infrastructure across all provinces is beset by planning, procurement and project ­management problems.

Consider that the ­provinces have had R32 billion to spend on ­infrastructure over the past three years and it’s clear that this layer of the state is incredibly wasteful.

5. Provinces have become politically ­destabilising. Because governance is poor, ­protests are frequent, and ANC factionalism ­intensifies the situation. 

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.