DA calls for update on KZN Premier’s Office forensic audits – Zwakele Mncwango

Party says A-G's findings are deeply troubling

DA calls for update on KZN Premier’s Office forensic audits following ‘deeply troubling’ A-G findings

16 September 2019

The findings of the Auditor-General (A-G) for the KwaZulu-Natal Office of the Premier for the 2018/19 financial year have revealed a disastrous situation, with the report reading like a litany of bad governance decisions with a string of transgressions.

The outcomes, presented during a meeting of the Premier portfolio committee held last week, reveal that the Premier’s Office received a Qualified, with findings, audit opinion with several issues flagged by the A-G. Most notable is that of irregular expenditure, at R137.90 million, with the A-G stating that he was ’unable to determine the full extent’ due to the contravention of supply chain management legislation as well as the reporting thereof.

The DA regards the findings as extremely troubling. They show a significant regression in terms of how this Department is being run and have exposed the ‘lip service’ being paid by Premier Zikalala, with his touting of so-called ‘good governance’ and a capable state.

Other areas of concern raised by the A-G include:

- Under-expenditure of more than R58million on the Departments Institutional Development budget. This at a time when it is conducting a number of forensic investigations and audits including the 10 between March 2012 and March 2019 and a further eight between April 2016 and March 2018. Worryingly, those officials identified in the investigations are still working in their jobs with no evidence of disciplinary steps being taken against them;

- PFMA or Treasury regulations not being followed, with goods and services below the value of R500 000 procured without bid documents properly prepared and no steps taken to prevent irregular expenditure; and

- A whopping R489 000 in terms of irregular expenditure within the Royal Household Trust. This has no doubt been compounded by the fact that the Trust has been without a CEO since November 2018, with no steps being taken to fill the vacancy.

The Office of the Premier is supposed to lead by example. It is supposed to be the ‘guiding light’ for other provincial Departments when it comes to performance and financial management in particular.

Given the A-G’s poor findings the DA calls on Premier Zikalala to report to the Legislature on the findings of the audits into, amongst others, alleged financial mismanagement by officials within his own Department. We also expect the Premier to advise whether any recommendations have been followed through with and whether any charges of been brought against errant officials.

The DA remains committed to holding KZN’s ANC-led government to account in the interests of the people of our province.

Issued by Zwakele MncwangoDA KZN Spokesperson on the Office of the Premier and Royal Household, 16 September 2019