Government bodies wasted R2bn last year, says AG

Government entities incurred R26.4-billion in irregular spending in the past financial year. (Gallo)

Government entities incurred R26.4-billion in irregular spending in the past financial year. (Gallo)

Government entities racked up more than R2-billion in wasteful expenditure in the past financial year and incurred another R26.4-billion in irregular spending, auditor general Thembekile Kimi Makwetu said on Wednesday.

In both instances, the transgression increased by more than a third compared with the previous financial year, Makwetu told Parliament's watchdog public accounts committee, Scopa.

Makwetu reported that unauthorised expenditure came to R2.3-billion, saying that little progress had been made in reducing the extent since 2011.

Most of the irregular expenditure was the result of departments failing to obtain three tenders for contracts and contracting with companies that did not have tax clearance from the South African Revenue Service.

Makwetu said overall audit outcomes of government entities had improved in the past year, with 58% avoiding qualified audits. But he added that this was largely as a result of his office helping financial staff correct errors made in their original submissions. – Sapa

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