Panyaza Lesufi's department records over R1bn in irregular expenditure

Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi's department has seen its financial controls raising questions following an irregular expenditure of R1.2-billion.
Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi's department has seen its financial controls raising questions following an irregular expenditure of R1.2-billion.
Image: SANDILE NDLOVU

Panyaza Lesufi has always achieved top marks for a quick response to crises in schools.

However, the MEC of Gauteng department of education this week scored low marks after it emerged that his department had failed to set up proper financial controls.

This after he revealed this week that his department recorded an irregular expenditure of a whopping R1,2-billion in the 2018/19 financial year as a result of tender irregularities, among other things.

Lesufi, who was responding to questions in the provincial legislature from DA shadow education MEC Khume Ramulifho, said the department will continue to improve controls to address weaknesses that result in irregular expenditure.

“The bulk of the expenditure relates to the school nutrition tender that was awarded in December 2016 which expires in two months' time."

An investigation into the tender irregularities was conducted by the provincial forensics unit and reports were issued to the department, he said.

Lesufi said the department was currently in the process of implementing the findings from the report and progress was also reported to the Auditor General of South Africa [AGSA] during their audit of consequence management,” Lesufi said.

Lesufi said the AGSA also identified the expenditure relating to the school furniture tender as irregular.

“This tender was for a pre-qualified list of service providers and after rigorous testing by the AGSA, it was found that there was one service provider that was unfairly disqualified from the list.

The department is currently in the process of finding ways to regularise the tender by perhaps adding that one supplier into the pre-qualified list of service providers as the tender is fairly new,” Lesufi said.

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