State of government departments under scrutiny

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In her briefing, which begins at 2 pm, Mallolic will also provide a breakdown of the findings of the government agency’s audit. In April 2021, successor Kimi Maquito reported that 111 or 26% of the country’s national and regional governments as well as their affiliated entities produced quality financial statements and received clean audits. Among the best performers in this regard were the departments of science and technology, commerce and industry, as well as the public service and administration. Olebogeng Motse of OFM News reported that Maluleke sanctioned one county in central South Africa.

The AG was particularly critical of the Free State county government in that report, saying that there is a “culture of no consequences created through the inability of the political and administrative leadership to implement results management for pervasive non-compliance with legislation.” She warned that this makes the governorate’s administrations and entities vulnerable to misuse of state funds and embezzlement.

The AG’s briefing comes on the back of the Finance Minister’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, Enoch Gudongwana, in November, in which he suggested the need to maintain restraint with regard to public spending, as well as the scheduling of several provinces for 2021/22 adjustment budgets. “The government will not commit to the new long-term spending in response to windfall gains in temporary revenue. No additional funding is provided for SOEs in the medium term,” Gudongwana said in his mini-budget.

Free State Finance MEC Gadeja Brown submitted her adjustment budget nearly two weeks ago in which she expressed concern that 63% of the county’s 2021/22 budget goes to salaries alone. Brown said the payroll bill poses financial risks to the county and criticized the recent public service wage agreement, which she says violated the budget cap to compensate public service employees and further aggravated the finances’ situation. Brown further added that the county government needs to cap the county’s payroll bill by 60% going forward.

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