The Auditor General’s National and Provincial Audit Outcomes for 2019/2020 report, released today, paints a bleak picture of an Eastern Cape Provincial Government that is failing under the ANC’s leadership.
Not only did the province have the highest unauthorised spending in the country, at R1,59 billion, but the Department of Health also still faced contingent liabilities of R36,75 billion – the highest of all national and provincial auditees!
The AG says there is significant doubt whether the Health Department will be able to continue with their operations as planned, based on their current financial position.
The devastating outcomes revealed by the AG can, in part, be attributed to the ANC’s cadre deployment policies and the complete lack of accountability for those guilty of wrongdoing.
The AG highlighted how poor internal control environments negatively affected the outcomes at the key service delivery departments, namely Health, Transport and Education.
The most common areas of non-compliance with legislation were a failure to prevent irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure, as well as inadequate procurement and contract management.
The AG also found that a large number of EC departments had repeat findings and stagnated on an unqualified opinion with findings as the leadership did not sufficiently implement preventative control.
There is some light at the end of the tunnel, which is the implementation of the amendment to the audit act, which, if a material irregularity is found to have occurred, allows the AG office to take necessary steps if the accounting officer or authority fail to.
The only way for the Eastern Cape to improve audit outcomes and eradicate corruption and maladministration is to practice consequence management.