Taxpayers didn't get value for R25bn

2012-01-16 16:38

Johannesburg - Auditor General Terence Nombembe has unearthed R25bn in unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure in national and provincial government departments in the 2010/2011 financial year.

Nombembe, who expressed concern about the financial controls in public sector spending, said this was an increase of R2.3bn compared with the previous financial year - because of his office's increased "scrutiny" of taxpayers’ money.

The exact figure of R25.445bn includes the spending of government entities such as Eskom and the SA National Roads Agency Limited.

Addressing reporters in Pretoria this morning Nombembe said he felt the most discomfort about the area of financial reporting, where government officials failed to record the correct amounts spent.

He said financial information was often corrected by his own officials during the auditing process at the end of the financial year.

While national and provincial departments, including entities, reported R13.7bn in unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful spending in their annual reports, the AG found a further R11.7bn through the final auditing processes.

Nombembe said financial managers should be trained to be able to report on finances correctly before all spheres of government could reach the target of clean audits by 2014.

"It (correct financial reporting) is the single and sole factor that will make clean audits in SA a reality. The role of the ministers, premiers, MECs, portfolio committees and Scopa [the standing committee on public accounts] is important,” said Nombembe.

One of the "biggest weaknesses" in government as a whole was the effectiveness of information technology systems and controls, said Nombembe.

The AG report shows that at provincial government level irregular expenditure - incurred in contravention of national laws - was the biggest culprit at R16.8bn, followed by unauthorised expenditure (overspending on certain projects) at R2.9bn while fruitless and wasteful expenditure (spending in vain, which could have been avoided) stood at R850m.

At national government level irregular expenditure was R4.5bn, fruitless and wasteful expenditure R593m and unauthorised expenditure was R802m.

Nombembe expressed concern that most government departments did not understand the requirements for meeting service delivery objectives and that departments were apparently deliberately not reporting their finances accordingly.

"Financial reporting is the biggest area of concern where there is [a] supply chain. This is where we still find a number of omissions by departments in adhering to departmental norms.

"Once again it’s an area, to a large extent, that does need to be given attention because there’s constant deviation. It doesn’t mean money has been lost, just that due processes are not embarked upon by government departments," said Nombembe.

He was also concerned with the high vacancy rate and called on government to employ skilled people who have an understanding of the basic accounting principles.

But Nombembe was pleased that senior government officials including the executive had committed themselves to improving the state of financial reporting and controls in the public sector.

He warned that unless the executive rise to the occasion and monitor financial controls in their respective departments Operation Clean Audit, set for 2014, would not be a reality.

  • Piston - 2012-01-16 16:42

    ...and no one goes to prison!

      Repline - 2012-01-16 16:47

      OMG. Look there. Isn't that the amount of money they require for the apparent "Loan" for the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project? Now they want us to pay for it via e-toll? REALLY?

      Kala - 2012-01-16 16:47

      The mind really boggles.

      Gerhard - 2012-01-16 16:58

      Only R25 billion?? I really thought it was a lot more than that. R25 billion is nothing, just add it onto our taxes for next year. It's only and extra R500 per person next year or just over R6,000 per taxpayer per year. OK, I forgive goverment. R25 billion, that's a whole bunch of unauthorised KFC meals.

      goyougoodthing - 2012-01-16 17:16

      True. let us 4 million pay and let the other 45 million vote for the SAME party so it continues.

      Dave - 2012-01-16 17:21

      ...and no one gets fired!!!

      Squeegee - 2012-01-16 17:22

      Now please motivate me to continue paying taxes. Come on... Deathly silence.

      Jay - 2012-01-16 17:42

      Why should 4 000 000 pay for 47 000 000 and still be made to feel guilty and not wanted. Im so over this already!

      Shoosh - 2012-01-16 18:02

      Is this is the "better life for all" that the corrupt AintSee promised the electorate?

      Morakane - 2012-01-16 18:03

      @ Reepline, those were my thoughts exactly! They throw money away, and tax payers should keep forking out money for senseless things like e-tags...the sheer nerve!!

      SarelJBotha - 2012-01-16 19:07

      How do you jail a whole political party?

      Hunter - 2012-01-16 20:42

      Sareljbotha, the previous govt also had that question and eventually could not get the answer, so they joined the bigger band of thieves.

      eric.vanvuuren - 2012-01-17 10:07

      Then I ask you why do we pay 1st world tax rates when we don’t even receive 4th world services? How could these companies ask for access to the tax coffers when they waist billions? Some-one should go to jail for this. From the top, to the bottom. No deals. If we find thoughts responsible on the street.... viva Kangaroo Justice!

  • Kala - 2012-01-16 16:43

    So my question is: Who's A$$ is going to be kicked over a R25 000 000 000.00 waste of money???? Or is this just going to be coughed up by the tax payer again. The AG concern appears to be more about everybody providing a correct audit as opposed to wherethe phuk has the money gone!!!

      Squeegee - 2012-01-16 18:17

      In any other (Western) country this would bring down the ruling party. Here the P(p)arty just goes on.

  • Merkwaardig - 2012-01-16 16:48

    Great! The SA tax-payer just received a R25B reduction in tax! Government better go and find the missing money to make up for the shortfall if they want their salaries!...

  • Bjorn - 2012-01-16 16:50

    With this mismanagement and not taking into account the levies on petrol, SA has lost over a trillion Rand since 1994 to these idiots in êêê gawment and their ways of corruption. And the country claims to have economic growth. The only groth in the economy is the spending of stolen money, otherwise there would have been nothing.

      Anthony - 2012-01-16 17:07

      can there be anyone in south africa --be they white black pink yellow or blue who does not see first hand that the anc is incapable of governing this country no one will be punished or hels accountable can u imagine how much more has been wasted that has not been reported --another 25 billion and not a word on this article from any of our regular anc supporters ---where are u guys --why so quiet this makes me sick to my stomach--and we have such terrible poverty in this country --this money could have made a difference

      Sharon - 2012-01-16 18:49

      I think its time for COSATU to really push for lifestyle audits on these crooked politicians. If they represent the people like they say they do, they'll say "stuff the alliance" and bring our government to book.

  • Lorenzo - 2012-01-16 16:51

    SHOCKER... This is such a surprise...

      Ben - 2012-01-16 16:57

      Shocker, but no surprise. We knew it all along.

      cameronjohnprice - 2012-01-16 17:15

      I got the

  • Gerhard - 2012-01-16 16:54

    Financial managers should be trained to report correctly? Surely financial managers knows how to report on finances otherwise the are not financial managers. And there we go, theft, corruption, fraud and embezzlement is now called incorrect reporting., Banana anyone?

      H - 2012-01-16 18:24

      Yep, financial managers know how to report correctly. However, unqualified appointees who merely hold the TITLE of financial manager clearly will never know how to do it. Those who voted for them suffer their evil even more than I do, but it provides no comfort for me to know that.

  • Newsreader - 2012-01-16 16:59

    Another typical day of ANC rule.

  • Errol - 2012-01-16 17:00

    Next year it'll be R30 billion and in 2014 R35 billion etc etc.The ANC and their useless cadres and pals,who run this country,cant but help diving into that cookie jar.Long live the 2% of this country who pay taxes for that cookie jar to remain full.....Viva la USELESS!!!!!!!!

  • Ben - 2012-01-16 17:00

    And ESCOM has to borrow money and increase rates.

      ISO - 2012-01-16 19:51

      Eskom is like once wife, she borrows money on your behalf and you have to pay it back :(

  • Shirley - 2012-01-16 17:05

    I dont know why he wastes his breath! No one will be brought to book for this. It is sinful and shocking-every year we have violent protests,schools wgich are ill equipped,hospitals where patients die because of little or no equipment or medication etc,yet these incompetant @sses can throw lavish parties,book into 5 star hotels,hire private planes because they wont go through baggage check,insist on luxury cars.....Come on anc step up or step out! Name and shame all guilty parties and make them take a 20% wage cut for at least 2 years to try and recoup some of the monies!

      H - 2012-01-16 18:26

      "Step up, or step out" - I love it.

  • Vegi - 2012-01-16 17:07

    The money can be unaccounted for due to missing records or poor record keeping. This is as a result of employing inept employees and generally not caring about the quality of the end result. Some are helplessly unable to perform due to being under qualified for the job as well as due to forged qualifications. Some government employs do give their all to their duties but there is a particularly rotten lot who cannot be helped by any intervention other than dismissal.

  • Newsreader - 2012-01-16 17:10

    Now thats alot of Gravy!!!!

  • clayplum - 2012-01-16 17:10

    So, lets all stop paying our taxes this year and maybe the gov will find the R25bn in a few Gov workers pockets...wouldnt that be nice!

      Ben - 2012-01-16 17:19

      But how? They just take it off on your pay-slip.

  • Peter - 2012-01-16 17:12

    And there are people sitting in jail for pinching a cell phone or a chicken because hey were hungry. And the people who cant read or dont read will vote for you know who.

  • Jimmy - 2012-01-16 17:12

    I don’t understand why they even bother setting up budgets since they clearly have no intention of keeping expenditures within these boundaries. And it’s also very clear that they have a blank cheque when it comes to spending (or should I say plundering) without any consequences….

  • Thandi - 2012-01-16 17:12

    Anarchy Nepotism Corruption

  • saxor - 2012-01-16 17:14

    its all about a good stealing day and no one gives a damn

  • Larry - 2012-01-16 17:15

    Didnt get Value!!! thats a huge understatement. Ripped off for R25 billion would be nearer the mark, but then we already know this.

  • Hugh - 2012-01-16 17:19

    Now lets see, if this useless ANC government could govern, they could have paid off the R21Bil off on the loans they took to improve the roads etc, instead of just saying "so effing what, make the users pay extra." But no, lets rather put our mates in power to do as they please. Gotta hate these sods.

  • The-third - 2012-01-16 17:21

    Just to put that into perspective for you. THAT MEANS all ye faithful that government could have built (AT THE VERY LEAST), 500,000 RDP houses and given (at least) 2 million South Africans a roof over their heads. Instead, they accomplished nothing.

  • Arthur - 2012-01-16 17:22

    These are numbers of mind-boggling proportions! But then if you don't have a mind, I guest it doesn't really matter!

  • Sarel Brits - 2012-01-16 17:22

    Any yet they are voted into power again and again,

      Shirley - 2012-01-16 17:28

      Hoping for a handout!

  • Brent - 2012-01-16 17:25

    And Julius gets another 20 cows !!!!!!!!!!!!!! WTF

  • Ben - 2012-01-16 17:26

    I would like to know how many of the voters read the news and actually know how they are being robbed by the people they vote for. I am sure they just dont know because nobody can be that stupid.

      Shirley - 2012-01-16 17:29

      You would be surprised!

      Jay - 2012-01-16 17:53

      Nope because the majority of voters don't pay tax. So in the shabeens they laugh because their leaders steal from the white man. The black voters are not being stolen from...............WE ARE!

      Jay - 2012-01-16 17:54

      remember you dont pay tax on anything under 60 000 per year, which is 90% of the working Black population.

      H - 2012-01-16 18:31

      Jay, you are mistaken. In fact, the money IS stolen from the shack dwellers. The minute we pay the tax, it is no longer our money. The social contract is that the money should be used to benefit the less fortunate. We don't live off our taxes, we live off what is left. So the idea that "it's okay because they are stealing from the wealthy" is a complete illusion. That money never belonged to the wealthy in the first place, they were merely the ones who generated it. As soon as this truth filters down, the pigs at the trough will become bacon and ham for the hungry.

  • alan.erwin1 - 2012-01-16 17:27

    PLUS the R400 million they are spending on the 100 year calibrations + another R16 billion on 2 jet aircraft to ferry around Zuma and his gang ++++++++ never mind there’s plenty more where that came from. Just go to a wh!te mans safe it’s stuffed full of money – so they all think. Nationalise everything that will make billions – so they think. Take the farms and land back for free that will make plenty of money – so they think. Let the infrastructure fail and spend nothing on transport or schools or health, that will save loads – so they think. Double the price of electricity that will make billions – so they think. ????WHO ARE THEY ???? The uneducated majority of SA who vote ANC.

  • Rob - 2012-01-16 17:29

    A fantastic result! An increase of around 10% on the previous year. Looks like inflation linked performance, and the department is claiming that it was controlled by their intervention. Gobbledegook!

  • ludlowdj - 2012-01-16 17:31

    multiply that by the 18 years the ANC has been in power and you get a minimum complicity amount. Those ANC supporters who doggedly vote for the ANC every election and still don't have a house or basic services take note, your vote allows this to happen year in and year out. An argument of "oh yes but the NP was also corrupt" is nothing than the screaming of a naughty little boy who has no understanding of the real world or the consequences of allowing continued failure by government

  • Fanie - 2012-01-16 17:39

    THE TIME HAS COME TO START PRAYING!!! We will pray for ANC's downfall - Tutu 2011-10-04 21:04 Cape Town - South Africans will pray for the downfall of the ANC like they did with the apartheid government, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said in Cape Town on Tuesday, during a news briefing on the government's failure to grant the Dalai Lama a visa. The Dalai Lama was invited to attend the birthday celebrations of Tutu, a friend and fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner. Tutu, often described as the country's conscience, shouted: "We will pray, as we prayed for downfall of [the] apartheid government, we will pray for [the] downfall of a government that misrepresents us."

  • Matthew Patrick - 2012-01-16 17:40

    Kudos to the AG on disclosing all this! At least we can be comfortable that he and his office have some independence.

      Rob - 2012-01-16 18:53

      Mathew: I this the sanitized version?

  • Gregory Jurgens - 2012-01-16 17:44

    Well done Anc. It must be a legacy of apartheid. It's actually a small amount. Considering how stupid the government is. It suprising the economy still functions. Not bad for a bunch of dim wits .

  • David - 2012-01-16 17:50

    These guys are the most incompetent and corrupt bunch in our history--and lets not blame the evils of apartheid,the whites,the West or capitalism,for the wanton destruction by our singing,dancing and freespending leaders

  • davidmarctaylor - 2012-01-16 17:51

    So all the Auditor General needs to do is ensure the same doesn't happen this year, and the money made will pay for SANRAL's e-tolling screw-up...

  • KCorsar - 2012-01-16 18:01

    R25bn - R25bn and its seemingly treated like its pocket change. Where are the charges against accountable parties; if not they should be sacked for pure incompetence. But as cadre appointments nothing will come of this until the whole infrastructure collapses and they will blame the previous government, nearly 20 years old soon enough........................

  • joeballito - 2012-01-16 18:03

    This is because unqualified anc kadres are trying to run our towns.Theft, nepotism is abound.This figure is closer too R100 billion wasted and stolen taxpayers money,makes me sick.

  • leijn.tissink - 2012-01-16 18:23

    There are no words to describe the this waste of R 25 billion. This could have built 500 000 RDP houses if assummed it cost R50 000 per unit. Corruption has reached new records under the Zuma Administration since the weapons scandal . Pres JZ may be a people's person and have the back bone to stand up against the previous president,but he is a failure as president due being compromised. He is not leading from the front but following the pack . We need a President like Pres Sata of Zambia irrespective of his ideology but have the back bone and principle to act against corrupt official whether his position and status in society. South Africa cannot afford another 5 years of the Zuma Administration as it will bankrupt this country at the current rate of corruption

  • Lordwick - 2012-01-16 18:35

    Where's all those who use to come to our stoor step canvasing for the votes...isee the m@@@@tafakas coming with their old f@@@kedup old s####it preaching it's apartheid,i will take knobkerrie and hit the s###it of that f@@@ked up ANC messenger!!!! JUst advice from law abiding citizen.

  • Jerhone - 2012-01-16 18:41

    spineless government, what did you expect? how many houses, how many schools, how many hospitals? instead how many black milionaires

  • Grant - 2012-01-16 18:41

    @Shocker. None of the commentators here seem to be surprised. It's too late to change now but the problem has arrisen because the ANC replaced competant staff with their inexperienced, dishonest cronies. The sad thing is nobody will be prosecuted (did anyone go to jail or get fired after the previous years report?). Imagine the already overloaded justice system trying to cope. I wish a breakdown for the provinces had been given.

  • braamc - 2012-01-16 18:50

    Nothing but corrupt thieves. The people must burn everything down!

      marina.poniatowska - 2012-01-16 19:24

      Yes, burn it down, then they can take more of our tax money to rebuild what's been burned down. You really think they will use their own deep pockets to fix anything?

  • SarelJBotha - 2012-01-16 19:07

    Is this not enough reason for the courts to declare the ANC a criminal organization and then to ban them again?

      Gerhard - 2012-01-16 20:43

      I really like your comment. This might be the way to go!.

  • Patrick Ngassa Piotie - 2012-01-16 19:07

    Don't u guys wonder why there is almost no black person commenting on this story???? I noticed only one based on the nicknames I may be wrong but this fact says it all «BLACK SA PEOPLE DON'T REALLY CARE!» As long as they identify some hurt done to the Whites. Sorry to make this a colour thing, I myself am black but fortunately (or not) I am a makwerekwere living in this country and I can see where you guys are heading. It is sad. How do you expect people who don't know the value of both hard work and a money earned honestly to manage money they haven't worked for??? From a sad observer.

      Lafras Moolman - 2012-01-16 20:49

      I think your wrong to say, black people dont care, why are there service delevery strikes each week, thats a direct showcase tha they do care. They just havent relised and put 2 and 2 together that its not only whites that pay taxes, they do too and all these monies could have been spent ons much more needed things lile housing, schooling, service del, so who is hurting who at the end of the day. The day will come when eyes will open and see the goverment for what they realy are, not me or you are going to drive off in our black SUV with blue lights and stay in a 16milj mansion, we will stay under, black or white, they just need to see it yet. From another sad observer.

      Lafras Moolman - 2012-01-16 20:51

      I think your wrong to say, black people dont care, why are there service delevery strikes each week, thats a direct showcase tha they do care. They just havent relised and put 2 and 2 together that its not only whites that pay taxes, they do too and all these monies could have been spent ons much more needed things lile housing, schooling, service del, so who is hurting who at the end of the day. The day will come when eyes will open and see the goverment for what they realy are, not me or you are going to drive off in our black SUV with blue lights and stay in a 16milj mansion, we will stay under, black or white, they just need to see it yet. From another sad observer.

  • Janneman27 - 2012-01-16 20:32

    "He was also concerned with the high vacancy rate and called on government to employ skilled people who have an understanding of the basic accounting principles." Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say that all black people are stupid (those that are, are so because of the disgusting state of black education during apartheid in any case), but this will N-E-V-E-R happen while programs such as BEE and Affirmative Action are treated the way they are today. We need to find a way of implementing BEE/AA in conjunction with apprenticeship programs. In other words, you get the best qualified person (black, blue, white or whatever) to lead the position/job with a bunch of BEE/AA apprentices working with that person. This way, instead of getting the numbers right, we get the skills right. We wont sit with massive public-sector skills shortages, because the best person is employed, PLUS we get to train and empower people who have previously been disadvantaged. Those people can then, once they are PROPERLY qualified, go and lead/train other BEE/AA candidates in other provinces/departments. BEE/AA isn't helping anybody at the moment. It's only making the rich, educated black people even more rich and powerful and discourages REAL transformation.

  • Gerhard - 2012-01-16 20:40

    Once again King Zuma should be decapitated.

      Gerhard - 2012-01-16 20:53

      His latest jol is at the Security Council where he bores everybody with past events like NATO bombing of Libya. At the beginning of his tenure he went to Britain complaining to the Queen about colonialism. Wherever he goes, he comes back empty handed and his cabinet does not tell him in advance. The emperor's new clothes.

  • Deepchund - 2012-01-16 20:59

    A lot of figures from the Auditor General.Start locking up the people that wasted taxpayers money and recover the money from them, unless the money is in the crooked Swiss Banks. No golf and cigars for the "dying" crooks in jail.

  • Johnnie - 2012-01-16 21:15

    This is how they start and eventually become top dogs - and then you must see them.Now is just the beginning when they get taught how to cover up everything. Pity they got caught out this time - but no woory nothing will happen. They will get promoted or put on suspension with full pay and bonus.

  • lee.farrington - 2012-01-16 21:49

    and now we act surprised!

  • vincent.farrell1 - 2012-01-16 23:12

    They spend a R1000 like I spend a R1 They spend a R10000 like I spend a R10 They spend a Million like I spend a R100 They spend a Billion like I spend a R1000

  • Nicolle - 2012-01-17 00:24

    is it ignorance or theft? They do as they please and get away with it by pleading ignorance...enough is enough...this is why I had to leave the country.

  • Emmanuel - 2012-01-17 02:25

    What if only tax payers were to vote?

  • Emmanuel - 2012-01-17 02:33

    How about starting a new political party named: TP = tax payers. If we win, we run the country via internet, facebook, twitter ... and a permanent live stream on our elected president. Live streaming meaning being in/at every meeting at anytime. We the TP run the country as a collective. Four million (4000000)_votes might take mean something. Emmanuel 2012/01/17