Anticipated KZN Agri report fails to impress Scopa

2008-02-28 00:00

THE much-awaited report into progress made at the KZN Agriculture Department failed to live up to expectations when it was tabled before members of the legislature’s standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) yesterday.

Scopa members found the report to be a “general overview”. The report, tabled by the acting head of the department Ndaba Ngwane, failed to detail issues such as reconciliations and amount verifications.

The report was expected to give details on the turn-around strategy implemented after an audit report found evidence of gross financial mismanagement and corruption at the beleaguered department.

Ngwane said much progress has been made since the turn-around strategy commenced.

He told Scopa that the department was reviewing its asset management policy and was in the process of verifying its immovable and biological assets. He said the department is also working at improving on audit issues raised by the auditor-general.

Scopa chairwoman, Jo-Ann Downs instructed the department to provide Scopa with a detailed written report within seven days from yesterday.

Downs was probably chairing Scopa for the last time as she is expected to be sacked from the position today. The legislature is expected to vote on the ANC’s motion for the removal of Downs.

Speaking at the close of the meeting yesterday, Downs thanked all the Scopa members saying she had enjoyed chairing the financial watchdog committee. “Tomorrow is another day, we do not know what awaits us,” she said.

The ANC has plans to replace Downs with Reverend Hawu Mbatha, the leader of Nadeco. Opposition parties have objected to this saying Mbatha was an ANC stooge.

bmbanjwa@witness.co.za

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