We are facing worst governance crisis since 1994 – COSATU

Federation says R45bn irregular expenditure is unacceptable at a time when economy is on its knees

The Auditor General’s report is proof that we are facing the worst governance crisis since 1994

2 November 2017

The Congress of South African Trade Unions is appalled to learn from the Auditor General Kimi Makwetu’s report that irregular expenditure in the public sector has increased by more than half from R29, 4bn in 2015/16 to more than R45, 6bn in 2016/17. This is outrageous and unacceptable that at a time when the economy is on its knees and the tax revenue is shrinking, so much money cannot be accounted for.

What makes things worse is the fact that the AG has warned that this figure is still likely to go up because other departments and SOE’s are still being audited.

The current economic trends have unleashed very harsh conditions especially for the working class and the poor. This gross and vulgar mismanagement of the limited public resources is further proof that we are facing the worst governance and economic crisis since 1994.

President Jacob Zuma’s administration has not just seen rising unemployment and economic collapse but it has also seen the scourge of corruption and inefficiency of the public service becoming endemic.

COSATU demands that all those implicated in this financial mismanagement of the public resources should be pursued and be held accountable.It cannot be alright that while the official unemployment stands at 27,7% {expanded unemployment rate is now 36,4} the highest rate of unemployment since 2003, and worsening poverty levels;  the little resources that we have as a country are being mismanaged and squandered.

This is the reason why COSATU continues to reject the assertion that in order to reduce the budget-deficit, the workers need to moderate their demands as a way of reducing the so-called public service wage-bill. This also tends to focus on the lower levels in the public service hierarchy rather than the bloated managerial or executive levels. Workers are reeling high household indebtedness and the rising cost of living, so they will not be forced to pay for the sins of others.

Central to this implosion and mediocrity of this government is the fact that it has become a cult like political system, where power lies with President Zuma and as long as someone is in good books with him, no matter how incompetent they are they can get away with anything.

Issued by, Sizwe Pamla, National Spokesperson, COSATU, 2 November 2017