Leaking money: Water Dept's irregular expenditure rises by 300%

2016-10-18 16:19
Wastewater is treated at the Macassar Treatment Plant outside Cape Town. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Wastewater is treated at the Macassar Treatment Plant outside Cape Town. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - The Department of Water and Sanitation's irregular expenditure rose by 300% over the last financial year, with the latest audit showing it had increased to R1.7bn, the Auditor General has said.

A representative from the Auditor General of South Africa presented before Parliament's portfolio committee on water and sanitation on Tuesday, and said the significant spike in 2015/16 was a cause for concern.

Of the R1.7bn in total irregular expenditure, around R1.3b was due to the department hiring external implementation agencies to execute its projects.

"When the department appointed implementing agencies it was up to them to ensure that the processes followed thereafter were above board," he told the committee.

"The moment you appoint an external party to implement projects on your behalf you need to monitor it so that the work is compliant. They are spending your funds."

The irregular expenditure figure rose from R431m in the previous financial year.

R68m in fruitless expenditure

Irregular expenditure is defined as expenditure incurred in contravention of key legislation and where goods are delivered, but prescribed processes are not followed.

The department also registered R68m as fruitless and wasteful expenditure, defined as expenditure incurred in vain and which could have been avoided if reasonable steps had been taken.

The representative said the Auditor General would like to see the functioning of these external implementing agencies addressed.

There was a slight improvement in the quality of the department's financial reporting this year, he continued. It obtained a clean audit, but with some areas of concern.

It needed to improve its communication, key controls, and bring stability to top management positions to address some of the audit findings.

The department was due to present before the committee after lunch on Tuesday, but its presentation has been moved to Thursday, as the minister and deputy minister were not available. 

ANC MP Hlomane Chauke promised that the debate with the department would be "robust".

Read more on:    auditor general  |  service delivery  |  water

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.