The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) chief executive, Wayne Duvenage said it is estimated that up to R100 billion of government revenues may be lost due to a combination of maladministration and corruption each year.
Duvenage said: “Year after year, despite the notifications to the deterioration in wasteful and irregular expenditure, the dubious, corrupt and unwarranted spending of taxpayers’ funds continues unabated.
“This is money that has been lost to road construction, schools, medicines, hospitals, education and security. The poorest of the poor are the hardest hit and the middle class gets poorer because they have to fork out more money for the expenses to take up the gap that government is falling short on.
“The nation is getting poorer, while a ‘handful of connected people’ are getting extremely rich.”
Duvenage’s statement follows recent reports that the Road Accident Fund (RAF) had spent R500 000 per month hiring 300 chairs for their offices.
DA Transport shadow minister Manny de Freitas said the wastage demonstrated the utter lack of regard the RAF and government had for road victims and commuters that pay for the fund via the fuel levy.
“We are likely to see another fuel increase soon, adding to the already record high fuel price. The South African commuter already coughs up R1.93 per litre of petrol to the RAF,” he said.
De Freitas said that last year alone the RAF made a loss of R34.7bn.
“In truth, ordinary South Africans are now paying to plug this R34bn black hole,” he said.
Cape Chamber of Commerce president Janine Myburgh said there was an enormous amount of wastage in government and municipalities. “We can see the convoys of flashy cars, but inefficiency and wastage cost us more,” she said. She referred to Eskom.
“In 2007 Eskom’s average wholesale price for electricity was 18 cents a unit. It is now more than R1 and further increases are to come. Every time you buy electricity you are paying for corruption. Every time you pay income tax and VAT you are paying the costs of corruption,” said Myburgh.
Political analyst Keith Gottschalk said that since President Cyril Ramaphosa started in office the country has observed how he has dismissed and appointed top executive managers.
“This is his way of creating stability and putting certain people in positions so that they can hold mid-level managers to account.”