Western Cape leads in provincial audit outcomes
Cape Town - The Western Cape has maintained its national lead in provincial audit outcomes according to the Auditor General’s Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) 2019/20 consolidated general report.
The overall audit outcome reflects an improvement despite the challenges experienced by the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak which resulted in the legislated audit completion date for PFMA being moved from July 31, 2020 to September 30, 2020.
Unauthorised expenditure also increased from R1.6 billion to R18.1bn, of which R15.1bn was because of the early payment of social grants in 2020 in response to the Covid-19 lockdown measures.
The report shows that the Western Cape incurred no unauthorised expenditure, compared to the next best province, Limpopo, with R1.1 million and the worst performing province, the Eastern Cape, with R1.5bn in unauthorised expenditure.
According to the report, the Western Cape only incurred R118 000 in fruitless and wasteful expenditure, compared to the next best province, the Northern Cape, with R9.6m and the worst performing province, Gauteng, with R103.4m.
Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC David Maynier said: “The repeated success of the Western Cape, as cited by the Auditor General, can be attributed to among other things, the institutionalisation of controls that resulted in the reduction of irregular expenditure.
“Accounting officers and authorities should continue to hold senior management accountable to improve key disciplines in the area of the reliability of submitted performance reporting,” said Maynier.
Meanwhile, the ANC in the province has voiced concerns about some of the challenges it claims are being faced by some local governments.
ANC provincial Finance and Economic Opportunities spokesperson Nomi Nkondlo said: “The ANC is appreciative of the work done by the local government budget office in supporting our municipalities with the necessary adherents to fiscal and financial compliance.
“However, we would caution that this programme, together with the provincial government budget office, shares the financial and fiscal outlook of the DA. In other words, there is no prioritising of goods and services that are essential to our people and their empowerment.
“Put differently, we are not surprised that the majority of municipalities are simply replicating the fiscal strategy of this provincial government ensuring that critical resources remain going to the beneficiaries of apartheid, while the areas which need them the most are starved of the necessary stimulation,” said Nkondlo.
Meanwhile, South African Institute of Chartered Accountants chief executive Freeman Nomvalo said: “The need for effective oversight and accountability is undeniably required urgently.
“You can’t improve accountability and internal controls if public sector financial employees don’t also have the competencies needed to perform these controls, and oversight structures are not effective,” said Nomvalo.