Still no sign of Coega’s Annual Report – what are they hiding?

There is still no sign of the Coega Development Corporation’s (CDC’s) 2017/18 Annual Report, even though it should have been tabled in the Provincial Legislature over a month ago.

Failure to table the report is in direct violation of the Public Finance Management Act and appears to be a deliberate attempt to avoid accountability for gross under performance and possible corrupt activities.

If Coega has nothing to hide, why are they not tabling their financials for scrutiny as required by law.

Coega’s Annual Report was one of four from the province that were singled out by the Auditor General as having regressed compared to the 2016/17 financial year, having received qualified audits with findings.

The AG also noted that it was dealing with an increasingly difficult environment for auditing, siting among others how the CDC was contesting the qualified opinion received.

It is the Democratic Alliance’s view that, instead of challenging the findings, the CDC should be focusing its energy on addressing what led to the findings and holding those responsible to account.

At a time where Coega is facing mounting pressure over National Treasury reports of gross expenditure irregularities within the Eastern Cape, it is vital that the Annual Report be tabled, so that it may be reviewed.

By dragging their heels on releasing the annual report, the CDC is doing more harm to their reputation and is delaying the ability of the legislature to conduct proper and thorough oversight.

In a DA-led government, there is no space for corruption. Key recommendations made by the AG would be acted on and those responsible for the misappropriation of funds will be brought to book.