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DA Says Gauteng Department of Education Incurred R1bn On Irregular Expenditure In The 2019-2020 Financial Year

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THE GAUTENG Education Department has incurred an amount of more than R1bn on irregular expenditures for the 2019/20 financial year, according to the Democratic Alliance in Gauteng.

This information was revealed in the department’s 2019/20 annual report, the party’s shadow MEC for education, Khume Ramulifho, said on Wednesday.

“According to the Auditor-General, effective steps were not taken to prevent irregular expenditure amounting to more than R1 billion. This irregular expenditure is as a result of non-compliance in respect of procurement and contract management,” said Ramulifho.

“The reports of more than R 431 million in irregular expenditure purported to be used to decontaminate schools last year clearly confirms that the department is disregarding the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).”

He said senior management have failed to adequately review and monitor compliance with the PFMA and treasury regulations.

“There are number of allegations of procurement irregularities, financial misconduct, fraud, and theft relating to prior years,” he said.

“The DA has tabled written questions to the Gauteng MEC for Education, Panyaza Lesufi in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature (GPL) to establish the status of investigations into these allegations.”

However, the Gauteng department of education has fired back at the DA after the opposition party claimed R1 billion in irregular expenditure was incurred by the department in the last financial year.

According to department spokesperson Steve Mabona, the party misread the recently released financial report, stating the department only incurred R14 million in irregular expenditure for the 2019-2020 year as disclosed in its financial statements.

Mabona went on to dispute a previous claim that the R431 million the department spent on cleaning and decontaminating schools last year was irregular.

This was because the 2020-2021 financial statements had not yet been audited.

Mabona added that an investigation was underway into the massive cleaning bill.

Education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said: “It is unfortunate and reckless for the DA to lump together historical issues and mislead the public by not providing a disaggregated report. The alarmist and sensational figure of R1 billion can only serve to tarnish the image of the department and represent a basic misreading of audit reports. This is nothing other than political grandstanding and opportunism.”


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