The Royal Household, a perennial overspender, has done it again, this time by R4.451 million. One of the things on which it overspent was financial management services.

An analysis of its 2011/2012 budget shows that while the department, which provides administrative and auxiliary services to King Goodwill Zwelithini and the Zulu royal family, again overspent on its budget, it underspent on infrastructure projects relating to the royal palaces despite complaining that they were in a state of disrepair.

ACDP MPL Jo Ann Downs said the department had overspent every year.

“It is of concern that it is on subsistence and travel and fleet expenses. It is ironic that another factor in the over-expenditure was hiring management consultants.

“Last financial year they overspent by hiring cars, paying twice what the car would have cost to buy outright in hire fees,” she said.

The DA’s Johan Krog said KwaZulu-Natal was failing dismally on government department performance controls, with no systems to establish these levels.

Hearings into expenditure again reinforced the “desperate need” for proper performance audits in terms of delivery. Krog said the province needed a proper management system which monitored performance and outcome within departments.

The issue of over-expenditure came up at a finance portfolio committee meeting on Friday.

Finance committee chairwoman Belinda Scott was not pleased with the responses received from the chief financial officer of the royal household, Mduduzi Mthembu.

Scott said that she would convey her concerns to Premier Zweli Mkhize: “We go one step forward and five steps backward. I am totally unsatisfied with the management of the royal house.”