CentralSAFS expenditure under scrutiny
─── KATLEHO MORAPELA 06:15 Wed, 10 Feb 2021
Financially troubled Free State municipalities and governance challenges continuing to plague them are causes of concern.
According to the provincial Finance MEC, Gadija Brown, they are working on measures to address challenges still faced by municipalities to improve service delivery.
Speaking before the Public Accounts and Finance Committee on Tuesday, Brown said issues raised by the Auditor-General in his latest report are a top priority and is receiving her department’s attention. She further confirmed issues of irregular expenditure in the different departments are amongst those also being addressed.
Brown has announced that for the first time this year, her department did not use an overdraft and are pleased with that. This coupled with an improved audit outcome.
Whilst concerns over escalating Eskom debts, high vacancy rates and the inability to generate revenue by many municipalities were sharply raised by oppositions, Brown has vowed to work more closely with the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department to ensure the provision of service delivery across the province.
Her statement comes less than a week after the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) confirmed that there are several Covid-19 PPE tender corruption allegations under investigation in the province, including in her department.
Head of the SIU, Andy Mothibi, told the media last week that a total of 11 fraud and corruption allegations relating to the PPE are currently under investigation in the Free State and his office is still receiving more allegations to be probed.
He said several investigations involving officials from the Free State Treasury are underway and they have thus far made a referral to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) over one senior manager within the Provincial Treasury.