Scopa spells out the rules and sends Economic Development home

2016-02-15 11:55
Mike Mabuyakhulu

Mike Mabuyakhulu (City Press)

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Pietermaritzburg - KZN Legislature’s powerful public accounts oversight committee booted MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu’s department out of the legislature on Friday.

Scopa chairperson Maggie Govender ordered the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, just two minutes into proceedings, to leave the house after the department’s administrative head Desmond Golding failed to arrive.

The committee had only received an official apology from Mabuyakhulu.

This was the second time a department was asked to leave the legislature in a week. The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) sent the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development packing on Wednesday claiming that the department, in answering tough questions, gave “political answers [rather] than administrative answers”.

Economic Development CFO Noluthando Mngadi informed the committee that Golding had woken up “not feeling well” on Friday.

Asked if Golding had delegated the accounting powers to her, Mngadi said no. Erickson Zungu from the NFP immediately proposed the proceedings be postponed.

“Even the chief financial officer only heard about the unavailability of the head of department this morning. Perhaps if it was something that was known well in advance, maybe they would have gathered around to discuss what was going to be presented,” he said.

MPL Sipho Nkosi cautioned that continuing with the session might set a “bad precedent”.

The department had come with the full complement of its entities, which included KZN Sharks Board, KZN Liquor Authority, Moses Kotane Institute and KZN Film Commission, all of which were represented by their accounting officers.

“The issue is that these are the entities of the department. At the end of the day the accounting officer is responsible for all of them.

“The head of department is ultimately accountable for all the entities.

“We do not want to set a bad precedent where the issue of accountability is undermined. While we accept that the MEC has apologised in writing, as should have been done, this has not been the case with the accounting officer.

“Neither have we received a formal notification that delegation [of power] has been accorded to the chief financial officer,” she said.

• sabelo.nsele@witness.co.za

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  kzn

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