Member’s Statement: Lifestyle audits, what is taking so long

Issued by Retief Odendaal, MPL
Shadow MEC for Finance

Speaker, more than a year ago, the Honourable Premier publicly pronounced that senior politicians and administrators in the province will be subjected to lifestyle audits.

The Premier said, and I quote: “The lifestyle audits will be conducted on the Premier, MECs, DG, DDGs, HODs, CFOs, and all chief directors or any senior person in supply chain management units in the provincial administration. In the long run, this will also accommodate the municipal space.”

While this announcement was widely applauded, we are now some 16 months down the line, and it seems as if there has been little progress in actioning this commitment.

Was this just another empty commitment, made and then forgotten, trying to appease a public that has become fed-up with the widespread corruption in the public sector?

In October this year, the Public Protector released a report containing some serious allegations of impropriety by some of the current executive members. It is alleged that these individuals could have unduly benefitted from public money spent in relation to the funeral of the late Mama Winnie Madikizela Mandela.

Whilst this report is currently subject to a legal review, it is clear that now, more than ever, the Honourable Premier needs to take the Eastern Cape public into his confidence. He needs to prove that he is willing to do whatever it takes to root out corruption from his administration.

This is why it is not just important to proceed with these lifestyle audits, but to also make public the findings of these audits.

Now, more than ever, the public has the right to know whether their leaders are to be trusted. Now, more than ever, this government must act with transparency and prove to our people that our leaders have not enriched themselves at the expense of the millions of poor residents who depend on us for a better tomorrow.

The Premier must immediately subject his senior politicians and administrations in his government to the lifestyle audits as promised and keep the public informed as to developments therewith.