File Image: Auditor-General, Kimi Makwetu

CAPE TOWN - Escalating irregular government expenditure could climb up to R65 billion at the end of this current financial year, The Auditor-General of South Africa, Kimi Makwetu recently revealed while addressing the UCT's Graduate Business School Distinguished Speakers' Programme.

Makwetu's estimate is based on the fact that not all state entities have met the legislative deadline to report their financial results by 30 September 2017.

For 2015/16 financial year, irregular government expenditure amounted to R29 billion. This amount has topped to over R45 billion for 2016/17 financial year.

Director of the UCT's GSB,  Professor Mills Soko said, the money South Africa loses due to financial mismanagement could be used to address the countries pressing needs such as free higher education to deserving poor students, and quality accessible healthcare to the entire population.  

Soko made reference to Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba's medium-term budget policy speech where he stated that projected revenue shortfall for this year amounted to R50 billion.

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Makwetu pointed out non-compliance with laws and regulations, lack of internal controls, supply chain management transgressions, unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure and corruption as core failures of state entities.

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Auditor-General's report released early this month revealed that the auditees in KwaZulu Natal, the Free State, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape as the main contributors to the significant increase in irregular expenditure.

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"The situation is not getting better…for as long as nothing happens to those implicated in financial mismanagement, the situation will not get better," Makwetu said. 

A total of 422 departments and entities were audited for 2016/17, 37 more than the 385 auditees in the 2015/16 financial year.


- BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE