Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu. PHOTO: ANA
PARLIAMENT - Irregular expenditure for national and provincial government departments, as well as state-owned entities audited by the Auditor-General amounted to R51 billion and counting, it was revealed on Wednesday.

Releasing the audit results for the 2017/18 financial year, Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu said the R51 billion excludes the irregular spending incurred by two of the country's most important state-owned companies - Transnet and Eskom - who combined incurred spending not in compliance with laws governing public finances - of R28.4 billion. Transnet and Eskom have private companies auditing their financials.

The number could rise dramatically as 27 percent of the auditees indicated they had incurred irregular expenditure but that the full amount was not known.

Fruitless and wasteful spending, noted Makwetu, had "another big jump" of 200 percent compared to the 2016/17 financial year, and is currently sitting at R2.5 billion.

"This is an avoidable type of expenditure that we find is now starting to increase," said Makwetu.

An increase in unauthorised expenditure by 38 percent to R2.1 was attributed to overspending. 

Overall there was a regression in audit outcomes, with 23 percent of departments and entities achieving clean audits. 

"We had 123 in total last year...whereas now there is about 99 in total of those departments and entities that achieved clean audits."

The Western Cape and Gauteng remain the provinces with the highest number of clean audits at 83 percent and 52 percent respectively. 

- African News Agency (ANA)