R2bn down the drain
PUBLIC entities, which include state-owned companies like Eskom, wasted more than R2bn during the past financial year in irregular expenditure. Salt rubbed into the wounds of taxpayers is that the figure rises to R5bn when wasteful expenditure and other costs accrued by many of the entities are added.
This was revealed in the auditor-general's report in Pretoria yesterday.
The infamous National Youth Development Agency, which made headlines last year by hosting a youth conference costing millions, was among the biggest spenders. The agency blew R68m because of supply chain management issues (SCM), wasted R2m and lost assets worth R39m.
Most entities seem to have struggled with managing their supply chain.
The National Lottery Board irregularly spent R11m. The Road Accident Fund wasted R26m and lost R15m due to scam issues. The Robben Island Museum blew a total of R35m. Auditor-General Terence Nombembe, pictured, listed SCM as one of the crucial areas that public entities and government departments were struggling with.
"The biggest issue is supply chain, especially when it comes to procurement. The rules are known but there is constant deviation from this," Nombembe said.
Added to the supply chain woes are problems with financial reporting. Most entities failed to provide adequate annual and monthly financial statements. Service delivery and compliance with regulations were problems.
Only 8% of public institutions received qualified audits, meaning a fraction had their books in order.