Treasury concerned over slow spending in govt programmes

2016-04-12 19:12

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Cape Town – South Africa's National Treasury expressed concern on Tuesday over the slow spending of some government departments.

According to Dondo Magonje, an acting director general at the Treasury, there were a number of reasons for the under-spending, and that saving money was one of them.

Red flags were raised over underspending and slow spending on these programmes:

- The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development underspent by an amount of R380.7m mainly due to delays in filling vacant posts and outstanding payments for merit awards and notch adjustments. There were also postponements in criminal justice system modernisation projects caused by interruptions to procurement processes;

- The National Treasury Jobs Fund spent its money slowly mainly due to project delays, extension of implementation periods, and less-than favourable economic conditions;

- Slow spending on transfer of funds for disaster relief because of the slow verification of costs and delays in requesting disbursements;

- The school infrastructure backlogs grant was slow because of delays in submitting invoices by the implementing agents;

- Persistent low spending on the Maths, Science and Technology grant in five of nine provinces since its inception. The grant is supposed to help improve school results.

- Only 285 589 patients out of a target of 425 000 are registered for chronic medication because of storage and pick up point issues in the health department;

- Only R29.5m out of an allocated R150m was spent on male condoms mainly because of local supply problems after the health department started ordering fragranced condoms when users complained that they did not like the previous type handed out at clinics. 

- The Health Department spent 53% of the budget allocated to non-profit organisations for HIV/Aids because new non-profit organisations were still being appointed.

- There are 9 413 vacancies in the SA Police Service partially because they are trying to save money to cover last year's salary increase;

- The Independent Investigative Directorate has 51 vacancies, partially because of delays in vetting;

- Money meant for some substance abuse centres is not being spent because invoices and other paperwork is outstanding.

The biggest transfers up to the end of the third quarter were:

- R9.7bn to the SA National Roads Agency;

- R7bn to the SA Revenue Service;

- R6.4bn to the National Student Financial Aids Scheme for student loans and bursaries as per an agreement during the #FeesMustfall protests last year; and

- R4.9bn to the SA Social Security Agency for the administration of social assistance.

Read more on:    treasury

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