Underspending ‘due to delays’

2013-09-04 00:00

EZEMVELO KZN Wildlife yesterday blamed an under-expenditure of R95 million in its budget for 2012/13 on delays in maintenance of its infrastructure, hiring of staff and buying of anti-poaching equipment, among others.

Chief finance officer Darius Shitate said the entity underspent its budget on compensation of employees by R3,124 million due to delays in filling vacant positions.

“Because we were finalising an organogram, a decision was made not to recruit for positions lest we were left with surplus people.”

Chief executive Bandile Mkhize said a revised organogram has been submitted to MEC Meschack Radebe for approval.

Shitate said less than the budgeted amount for infrastructure maintenance for roads and buildings was spent due to an assets verification process that was being undertaken.

Committee chairperson Belinda Scott ordered Ezemvelo to quantify the costs of their infrastructure maintenance and submit a report by October.

Mkhize said Treasury had given them a report on the budget estimate for infrastructure last month, but they were still studying it.

The late transfer of R28 million as part of the anti-rhino poaching campaign in February, two months before the financial year-end, was also cited as a reason for underspending.

Revenue generated by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife was at a low in the last financial year.

He revealed that they have budgeted R12,48 million for their own revenue, but they managed to raise a mere R10,77 million.

“A lot of that had to do with the downturn in the economy. We are slowly picking up,” Shitate said.

He also said the R63 million for reserve road maintenance would hopefully be utilised by the end of the financial year.

Shitate said tenders would be issued after the mapping and assessment of roads in the parks had been done.

He added the admission to the reserves recorded a knock of R1,3 million, because tourists preferred to visit the resorts on day passes and sleep elsewhere.

Similarly, an auction planned to dispose of vehicles and equipment fell through, and fees for implementing projects were not received because the project did not start on time.

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