State owes AG R400 million

2011-09-20 08:49

Government departments and entities owe the Auditor-General (AG) Terrence Nombembe about R400 million in unpaid debt for audits done in 2010/11.

Municipalities are the biggest debtors and owe the AG more than R167 million, followed by provincial governments with more than R107 million.

Since November, Nombembe has instituted legal actions against some of the defaulting municipalities in North West, Northern Cape and Free State but only collected R13 million.

Sheriff’s letters were served on the defaulting municipalities, however, the AG missed its target of collecting R58 million.

National government owes R50 million, according to the AG’s 2010/11 yearly report.
More than R225 million of the amount is current debt while R81 million has been outstanding for up to four months.

Another R84 million has not been paid for over four months and unlisted public entities, staff debtors, municipal entities, utility agency corporations owe R19 million.

The R400 million debt is up from R370 million in the 2009/10 financial year.

The AG conducts audits for 944 state entities including national and provincial governments, the country’s 283 municipalities, parastatals and other state-owned entities. It made a R133 million surplus in its R1.8 billion income for 2010/11.

The AG also paid R3.6 million last year to contribute towards the salaries of accounting department lecturers at the University of Fort Hare.

Nombembe’s spokesperson Africa Boso said there was continuous engagement with the National Treasury, the cooperative governance and traditional affairs department and provincial governments to assist in collecting outstanding debt.

Senior AG officials also request the outstanding payments from the municipalities during their quarterly visits.

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