File photo: Reuters

Johannesburg - Limpopo lost out on R1.3 billion that is now going to other provinces because of low spending and financial irregularities.

On Tuesday, The Star reported that the National Treasury stopped the transfer to Limpopo of R1.3bn for three grants, in an order in terms of the financial laws.

Limpopo lost R637.549 million from the Provincial Roads Maintenance grant, R644m from the Human Settlements Development grant, and R8.967m from the Community Library Services grant.

Explaining the reasons for stopping the funds, National Treasury spokesman Jabulani Sikhakhane said: “The Roads Agency of Limpopo, which implements roads projects on behalf of the provincial Roads and Transport Department, has been the subject of investigation as well as clean-up processes arising out of the failures in its supply-chain processes…

“The net result of all of this has been that the Roads and Transport Department in Limpopo has spent poorly this current financial year.

“At the time when the decision was taken to move the funds, Roads and Transport had only spent 19 percent (R232m) of its R1.2bn budget. A rollover of the funds would have compounded the problem of under-spending.”

Commenting on Human Settlements, he said:

“National Treasury withheld the Human Settlements funds in May 2013 due to the irregular tenders awarded by the provincial department.

“These funds have remained withheld pending the finalisation of the forensic investigation, and the subsequent suspension of the head of the department.”

“In the end, there was too little time left for the province to spend the money, and it was agreed with the Department of Human Settlements (national) that the funds be reallocated.”

At the end of 2011, Limpopo was technically bankrupt.

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The Star