Cash-strapped Limpopo expects surplus

2012-01-29 22:41

Johannesburg - Limpopo Premier Cassel Mathale believes his cash-strapped province will have a surplus on its R40bn budget by the end of the current financial year.

Speaking to journalists after opening his party's two-day lekgotla in Polokwane on Sunday, Mathale said the province was not bankrupt and was still able to pay civil servants and service providers from its allocation.

This was despite Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan's pronouncement earlier this month that the province was facing a potential R2bn deficit, due to the violation of the Public Finance Management Act and gross violation of procurement policies.

“We have not exhausted our budget. The issue of us being technically bankrupt is as [a] consequence of the overdraft that has been there," said Mathale.

"When you have an overdraft, it does not mean that you are bankrupt, you just have... an arrangement with your bankers.

“We are not bankrupt, we still have our allocation ....there are possibilities that we may not spend all our money." 

Bigger overdraft

Limpopo's head of treasury Nerulal Ramdharie recently requested an increase of the provincial government overdraft from R757m to R1.7bn, which was rejected by Gordhan.

This had saved millions of tax payers' money, Mathale said.

The province's finance, education, health and social development, public works, and education departments were placed under the national government's control last year. The remaining departments were operating under guidelines provided by national government.

Limpopo's financial woes were due to unauthorised expenditure, which grew from R1.5bn in 2009 to R2.7bn in 2011, Gordhan said earlier this month. A forensic investigation into the shortfall was currently underway.


Mathale in his opening address appealed to ANC members in the provincial government not to be "defocused" by the fact that five departments had been placed under national administration.

"This must not defocus from the commitment we have made to the people on the mandate they have given us to deliver to their needs," he said.

He said the province had an obligation to turn the current state of affairs around, "no matter how much we may not like this reality or view it as unwarranted".

Mathale called on party members to work hard to ensure the Limpopo government got back control of the five departments, and do so quickly.

It was the "responsibility of the caucus to transform constituency offices into one-stop centres that offer assistance to our people".

Officials who neglected their constituency work and obligations were "betraying the movement and our people."


Mathale called for the "overdue" reconfiguration of parastatals so they could play a more active role within job creation and economic diversification.

However, jobs could not be created without input from the private sector.

Mathale told the meeting that the eurozone debt crisis had hampered the province's job creation plan, with growth sustained, but at a slower rate.

The two-day long lekgotla ends on Monday.

  • Assis - 2012-01-29 23:53

    The way Limpopo runs it's finances it's moving towards a debt crisis like the eurozone. Halting expenditure to balance the books, especially of a capital nature, one again postpones development to the people who need it the most. Oh I forgot the needy are the tenderneurs and corrupt officials. I take it that denying that a mess exists no-one will be prosecuted or convicted...

  • paulr.g3 - 2012-01-30 00:11

    Shameful and somewhat sad. The honorable thing to do is resign.

  • jack.oosthuysen - 2012-01-30 00:39

    Ubhejane, that is why the lekgotla is over a two day period. Homework tonight=Find Europe and focus on the zone.

  • Sinudeity - 2012-01-30 01:26

    Sure dude.

  • Ben - 2012-01-30 03:49

    It is impossible to make out whether this man is a liar or just plain stupid. To explain an overdraft one needs to have a good reason. If there was an allocation you should be able to say exactly how the funds were utilised because the reason for the overdraft was that more funds were utilised than the amount allocated. Please man, try another one because not even an uneducated man will believe you.

  • Pawel - 2012-01-30 04:30

    Juju can sponsor the rest!!!!

  • Mboma - 2012-01-30 06:17

    Believe me they can run a surplus soon. What do they have to do? They simply stop providing services and use the money to service thier existing tenders. Detriorating service delivery will continue and infrastructure will collapse. By that time Mathale and company will be rich out of tax payes money

      pws69 - 2012-01-30 07:22

      Spot on.

  • pws69 - 2012-01-30 06:22

    He says so much without actually saying anything meaningful. Old political rhetoric, the same tired "we must serve the people' mantra, when less serving of the people is done each year. The cherry on top? He was reelected! You just have to wonder about the mental capacity of the people voting for him. Why, oh why, would you vote to INCREASE your hardship?

  • Anthony - 2012-01-30 06:28

    you fail

  • Garth - 2012-01-30 06:43

    Please, please, please stop voting these ignorants into power! This mathale is so stupid that it is embarrassing for oneself, when one realises that it is a member of the same genus as oneself. Come on people of South Africa, surely no-one out there with an IQ of over 75 points believes this anc ignorant.

  • Larry - 2012-01-30 07:10

    Dream on Mathale. The statement puts you in the same category as Zuma's statement that Africa will overtake the Far East Economy. A liar of epic proportions.

  • pws69 - 2012-01-30 07:21

    How can any government, which are by definition consumers of wealth, rather than creators of wealth, run at a surplus? Governments take taxes in order to provide a service. If they run at a deficit, they are incompetent. If they run at a surplus, they ave failed to deliver on their responsibilities. A government should come as close as possible to balancing the books if it is to be effective.

  • raymond.kok3 - 2012-01-30 07:28

    blah blah blah please someone shut him up useless ,spineless but yet in charge of a bankrupt province he cant wait to have his sticky corrupt fingers on the purse string of that province again.

  • Ian - 2012-01-30 07:38

    "When you have an overdraft, it does not mean that you are bankrupt..." Having an overdraft is nice and all. But when you go INTO your overdraft then yes you are indeed bankrupt. Your busy borrowing money from the bank at that stage, i.e you have no money.

  • procold2 - 2012-01-30 08:09

    and have you heard the one about snow white and the three little pigs

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-01-30 08:28

    This guy is a denialist of the worst kind and should be removed, together with his whole corrupt crew. Limpopo's people made some bad choices by letting them into power and it is time they are saved from themselves.

  • Gail - 2012-01-30 08:31

    Do away with provinces.Source the best man power/ woman power, cull middle managers. Find mentors place them for three to five years. Give them authority.

  • Daan - 2012-01-30 08:44

    Eish!! Miestar Cassel Mothale he is too much DEFOCUSED.

  • Martie - 2012-01-30 08:50

    Their is no doubt in my mind that Mathale is plain STUPID. He has no clue whatsoever. I fully agree with Marcell. Could not have said it better. Brillinat!!!

  • Devon Roman - 2012-01-30 08:52

    Premier Mathale is clearly living in a dream world... He just proved that he does'nt have a clue about the state of affairs in his province.

  • Nyiks11 - 2012-01-30 09:51

    Instead of releasing the water stopper after taking a bath , try scooping out the water with a fork and see how long it will take you to empty the bathtub . . . .that my dear premier is more like settling an overdraft Fundamentals of budgeting 101

  • Jacqui - 2012-01-30 09:54

    He probably remembered, suddenly, where he had buried all that money.

  • Jay - 2012-01-30 09:56

    i hate the ANC but every time they have an election they give me one piece chicken and one T-shirt with zuma's face and promise me job and house. so i voting for them. how they trick me everytime!!! EISH.

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