It was on Tuesday that the Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan commended Mpumalanga Premier, David Mabuza for his prudent handling of the finances of the provincial government.
According to the Minister, “what is commendable is the Premier’s proactive approach that says, ‘we are now living in a challenging economic environment, with no abundance of fiscal resources available. Therefore, we must live within our means, as a provincial government. We must undertake as many savings as we can. We must not put unnecessary pressure on the national fiscal.'”
However, the Fighters (EFF) in Mpumalanga think it’s uncool for the Finance Minister to praise the Province for being financially wise when its irregular spending ascended to almost R4 billion.
The Province’s irregular expenditure has been increasing over the past three years. In the 2013/2014 financial year, Mpumalanga recorded R1 billion irregular expenditure. The amount climbed to R2.4 billion in 2014/2015 financial year and is now at R3.97 billion.
BuzzSouthAfrica gathered that the audit outcomes of the province shows that government leaders tolerated the flouting of supply chain management and failed to punish miscreants. That, caused the irregular expenditure of R3.97 billion.
Most of the irregular expenditure were identified in health, human settlements and education. The departments respectively wasted R1.919 billion, R1.134 billion and R355.8 million.
Out of the Province’s 18 departments, only 3 received neat audits. They include the treasury, Mpumalanga Gaming Board and the cooperative governance and traditional affairs department.
Speaking, Collen Sedibe, the Fighters’ leader in Mpumalanga asserted that the Finance Minister has been deceived to believe the financial affairs of the Province is alright.
Sedibe said: “we will secure a meeting with the minister and use the Auditor-General’s report to convince him to put the province under administration. It can’t be business as usual.
“If the minister was here for political reasons, he must say so. A man of his calibre cannot say Mpumalanga is run well. His comment is suspicious and makes me doubt him.”
Also, Sedibe disclosed that the EFF will open fraud and corruption charges against MECs and heads of departments. “We are worried that the government is forever regressing,” he added.