UPDATE | Probe launched as Gauteng Treasury loses R6m after bungled Microsoft payment

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Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko.
Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko.
Christiaan du Plessis, Netwerk24
  • Gauteng treasury reportedly lost R6 million after an erroneous payment.
  • The payment, made to Microsoft, was made in dollars instead of rand.
  • The amount was recovered, but R6 million was lost due to an exchange rate change.

The Gauteng Department of Treasury has lost more than R6 million after it mistakenly paid for services in dollars instead of rand.

The department erroneously paid $20 million instead of R20 million as per e-Government payment advice for the cost of Microsoft fees, DA spokesperson Adriana Randall said.

READ | Government departments not paying suppliers on time harms the economy, PSC warns

This saw more than R318 million debited from the e-Government bank account. After the error was made, the provincial treasury recalled the full amount from Microsoft, but R6 million was lost due to a change in the exchange rate.

Gauteng Finance and e-Government MEC Nomantu Nkomo-Ralehoko addressed the issue while responding to questions posed in the provincial legislature, reported Times Live.

Nkomo-Ralehoko reportedly said the department prepared a payment advice document for the payment of Microsoft fees amounting to more than R20 million. The department submitted the payment advice to the provincial treasury, cash book and banking services for processing.

The provincial treasury erroneously made the payment in dollars instead of rand, as advised by the department, Nkomo-Ralehoko reportedly said.

The amount was reportedly successfully recalled in February.

Nkomo-Ralehoko reportedly said the provincial treasury had instituted an investigation.

"While the DA welcomes the investigation into this forex transaction, we believe that stronger action should have been taken, and the official responsible for this should have been suspended immediately and the money recouped from the official.

"Consequence management is the only way in which errors like these will not happen and will send a strong message to any government official that is involved in negligence as seen at the e-Government department," Randall said.

Gauteng treasury said on Wednesday afternoon that Nkomo-Ralehoko had reported the matter to the Finance Portfolio Committee.

"The department takes the incident seriously and has, therefore, instituted an independent investigation into the matter," it said.

"On conclusion of the investigation, the department will take necessary steps or actions, as deemed appropriate, in accordance with the outcomes of the Independent Investigation Report."

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