A review of the latest national government departments’ annual reports reveals that over R 427 million has been incurred in fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the 2010/11 financial year.

This is a 1 600% increase from last year when, according to the Auditor-General’s Report on National Audit Outcomes, the figure stood at R26.6 million.

According to a list of expenditure deemed wasteful and fruitless by the Auditor-General in the annual reports of national departments, the following amounts were wasted:

• Home Affairs – R 334 640 000
• Rural Development & Land Reform – R73 406 000
• Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries – R 12 199 000
• Health – R2 556 000
• Basic Education – R 376 000
• Communications – R 1 438 000
• Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs – R 336 000
• Correctional Services – R 6000
• Economic Development – R27 000
• Justice & Constitutional Development – R849 000
• Police – R771 000
• Public Enterprises – R4 000
• Public Service & Administration – R311 000
• Science & Technology – R110 000
• Social Development – R7 000
• Transport – R12 000
• Water Affairs – R369 000

Total: R 427,498,000

Had reasonable care been exercised, this R427 million could have been directed towards improving the livelihoods of thousands.
R 427 million builds approximately 7 000 houses, 10 new schools, and could provide salaries for 2 500 teachers.

This figure does not include the Departments of Sports and Recreation, State Security, and Women, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities. These departments have yet to table their annual reports, despite the passing of the deadline for tabling in Parliament on 30 September.

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