Provinces waste billions in South Africa

KwaZulu-Natal accounted for 41% of all unauthorised expenditure in the 2011/12 financial year, followed by Gauteng with 36%.

This is according to the latest South Africa Survey, published by the South African Institute of Race Relations (IRR) in Johannesburg recently.

The Drakensberg. Photo: Tourism South Africa
The Drakensberg. Photo: Tourism South Africa

The Survey is the annual yearbook on all social, economic, and political aspects of South Africa that the IRR has been publishing since 1946.

The data was obtained from the auditor-general’s General Report on the Provincial Audit Outcomes, 2011/12.

When it came to irregular expenditure, Gauteng and the North West accounted for the highest proportions, both at 19%, followed by the Free State at 15%.

As for fruitless and wasteful expenditure, Gauteng was again one of the worst offenders, accounting for 32% of such expenditure, followed by the Eastern Cape at 22%, and Limpopo at 18%.

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Unauthorised d expenditure means overspending on the amount that was previously agreed to by Parliament.

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Irregular expenditure means expenditure incurred in contravention of, or not in accordance with, the requirements of any applicable legislation. Fruitless and wasteful expenditure refers to expenditure which was made in vain and would have been avoided had reasonable care been exercised.

Georgina Alexander, a researcher at the IRR, said, ‘The amount of money that is wasted due to unauthorised, irregular, and fruitless and wasteful expenditure is cause for grave concern.

This money has the ability, if spent properly, to raise the living standards of thousands of people across South Africa’.