COSATU statement on the Auditor-General’s report

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted with concern the report by the Auditor-General (AG) Kimi Makwetu that shows that irregular expenditure has increased from R45, 6 billion in the 2016/17 financial year to R51bn.

This is proof that the quality of financial management in our government institutions is not only appalling but is continuing to deteriorate at a frightening rate. It is astounding and worrisome that so many government institutions are failing to account accurately for the financial transactions they have carried out.

This confirms the fact that there is little control over the corrupt abuse and manipulation of tenders and procurement of goods and services. There is also virtually no appetite to enforce the law by political office bearers, deployed in government.

Year after year, the AG uncovers these problems, yet there are virtually no consequences for those responsible. We demand to see more action in the disciplinary hearing and the courts against these ill-disciplined people.

COSATU is happy that President Ramaphosa has signed the Public Audit Act into law that will empower the AG to pursue all those officials responsible for irregular expenditure. The Auditor General’s findings suggests that many of these officials may not have been transparent in the manner in which they conducted their activities, as there were instances where they did not follow the required processes.

What this country needs is a massive drive to enforce the laws against irregular and unauthorised spending and corruption, bring those responsible to court and punish those found guilty.

We must also encourage and defend the whistle-blowers who are risking their lives to expose corruption and mismanagement.
South Africa needs to find ways to enforce a culture of public service change the mindset of those running our government institutions and insist on legal consequences for those who break the law. Public representatives and their officials must either serve the people honestly and efficiently, or resign and make way for others who will do so.

Issued by COSATU

Sizwe Pamla (COSATU National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 679