R20m to sort out troubled department

Ongoing problems in KwaZulu-Natal's department of agriculture have prompted MEC Mtholephi Mthimkhulu to pay a private consortium R20million to help it out of its management doldrums.

Ongoing problems in KwaZulu-Natal's department of agriculture have prompted MEC Mtholephi Mthimkhulu to pay a private consortium R20million to help it out of its management doldrums.

Addressing the media in Durban yesterday, Mthimkhulu said his department had appointed a consortium of service providers to implement a turnaround strategy over 12 months. It will review business processes and controls and identify weaknesses in the department.

Serious service delivery problems and poor management practices had attracted much public criticism for the department over the past few years.

The department received disclaimers from auditor-general Terence Nombembe for poor management over three successive years since the 2004-2005 financial year.

Though the department managed to get a qualified report during the 2007-2008 financial year, Mthimkhulu, who was appointed MEC in 2006, believed that there was still a need for change.

"Though we have improved there are still many outstanding issues that need to be sorted out,"aid. "We believe that the consortium will help a lot to achieve our goals." - Sapa

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