NEWS & ANALYSIS

SCOPA acts on request for investigation – DA Northern Cape

Party says there are various financial irregularities at provincial departments

SCOPA acts on DA request

15 March 2018

The Democratic Alliance welcomes that the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) at the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature has agreed to our requests for investigations into various financial irregularities at provincial departments. Acts of financial misconduct are not victimless crimes. Corruption robs opportunities and steals service delivery from the people of the province and we can therefore never relax in our constitutional duty to the hold the executive to account.

We have requested investigations into:

- Spending and allocation of funding from the corruption kitty known as the Economic Growth & Development Fund by the department of Economic Development & Tourism. Our request was prompted by allegations that funding was allocated for the ANC’s provincial conference in Colesberg last year, but we want the investigation to extend to all suspicious payments. The success of this fund is crucial to the success of the provincial economy and we cannot afford to waste a single cent investing in projects which will not deliver an economic return.

- Payments of R42 million made by the department of Transport, Safety & Liaison to an implementing agent known as Wilcovert, which received money before any services or supplies were delivered. While the funding was earmarked for road safety awareness and education programmes, it was spent on questionable items such as furniture and the department wrongly classified spending in what appears to be a deliberate attempt to hide irregularities.

- Irregular expenditure, unauthorized expenditure as well as fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by the Department of Health and the Department of Education. The provincial treasury projects that unauthorized expenditure alone will amount to R883 million at the end of this month, while only R247 million is available to clear the debt.
These two departments receive the largest slices of the provincial pie and their contribution to the consolidated irregular expenditure, unauthorized expenditure as well as fruitless and wasteful expenditure is significant. If they cannot allocate, manage and spend their funding in accordance with the law, it has a detrimental impact on the province’s financial health.

We trust that SCOPA will take its commitment seriously and will strive to hold the executive accountable for every single cent of public funds.

The DA is the only party that acts actively against corruption. Under a DA-led government, corruption will become a thing of the past.

Issued by Boitumelo BabusengDA Provincial Spokesperson for Finance, Economic Development & Tourism, 15 March 2018