DA queries govt spending report

2010-10-21 17:08

Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance is to approach Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi regarding the status of the task team set up to review government spending.

A recent report by the auditor general brought to light that PetroSA and the Central Energy Fund (CEF) had chalked up nearly R40m in fruitless and wasteful spending during the past financial year, DA spokesperson Sejamothopo Motau said on Thursday.

It was also found that PetroSA and the CEF had collectively incurred irregular expenditure of nearly R1m.

According to the report, PetroSA incurred R24.45m in fruitless and wasteful expenditure, and R682 000 in irregular expenditure.

The CEF incurred R15.15m in fruitless and wasteful expenditure, and R309 000 irregular expenditure.

"To date, the ANC administration has squandered over R1bn from the public purse on frivolous parties, self-congratulatory advertorials, World Cup tickets and its inability to exercise due caution when spending funds," Motau said.

No clear strategy

Government had yet to announce a clear strategy aimed at curbing wasteful spending in the public service, which seemed to indicate that squandering of public finances would continue unabated.

The DA would once again write to Baloyi to enquire about the status of the task team set up by government over a year ago to review government spending and would request that he inform them when its findings would be announced.

"The DA wrote to the minister on this important issue in July 2010 and we are yet to receive a response from him," Motau said.

The AG's findings reaffirmed the urgency of addressing the issue of irresponsible public spending.

PetroSA, the CEF's flagship company, reported a loss of R356m for the past financial year.

This could have been avoided if the responsible officials had exercised due diligence and vigilance.

While the energy department itself did not incur any fruitless and wasteful expenditure, it did incur irregular expenditure of R4.2m.