Irregular, unauthorised and fruitless expenditure should be declared criminal offences – SANCO

The South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) in the North West is calling for criminalization of irregular, unauthorised and fruitless expenditure in government . This follows revelation by the Auditor General (AG) Clarence Makwetu that 22 municipalities in the province contributed 15%, or R4.2 billion, of the total irregular expenditure in the 2016/17 financial year.

“We cannot afford to maintain the business as usual attitude because without consequence management, infrastructure delivery and maintenance will remain a mirage for our communities that are yearning for quality services,” emphasised SANCO Provincial Chairperson,Paul Sebegoe condemning the findings.

Sebegoe said that urgent corrective plans must be developed and implemented to ensure that service delivery is fast-tracked.

“Incompetence and diversion of resources which are meant to improve the lives of our communities must be dealt with decisively ,” he emphasised.

He said the AG report has confirmed the relevance and correct timing of the national intervention because the province was virtually near collapse.

“The AG’s report and inter-Ministerial Task Team attest to the gravity of maladministration that needs to be urgently addressed,” highlighted Sebegoe.

He said that good governance must be reclaimed to restore confidence in public institutions and reposition them for efficient service delivery.

While law enforcement is investigating whether any official in the province committed fraud, Makwetu’s office says 11 municipalities signed contracts arranged by other state organs without complying with regular supply chain management regulations, amounting to R414 million.

“Furthermore, fraudulent credit cards were opened in the name of the municipalities at Madibeng and unauthorised monthly deductions were made from the municipality’s bank account”.

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