limpopo write-off rejected

Chester Makana

Chester Makana

The Limpopo legislature's standing committee on public accounts has rejected a bid by several provincial government departments to write off a combined R333million spent without authorisation.

Out of eight departments summoned to appear before the committee yesterday, only the premier's office provided a satisfactory explanation to justify its over-expenditure.

The reasons given by the departments of health and social development, education, public works, agriculture, economic development, environment and tourism, local government and housing, and roads and transport were far from convincing, the committee said.

Chairman Rudolph Phala told one department after the other that the departments' motivations were weak and faulty and that their expenditure was not justifiable.

The committee's decision means that the affected departments will have the same amount of money they overspent deducted from their budget in the next financial year.

Head of agriculture, Big Maloa, for example, could not explain how in the 2001 and 2002 financial years R4,3 million was overspent on a phone bill.

The committee blamed poor and erratic planning for the financial crisis and said the departments were supposed to have provided for extra expenditure in their budgets or used a budget adjustment.