On Tuesday, 12 May 2015, the North West Provincial Legislature’s Standing Committee on Provincial Public Accounts (SCOPA) applauded the Premier of the North West Province, Supra Mahumapelo’s intervention on addressing financial challenges in the Department of Public Works and Roads; Department of Health and Department of Education and Sports Development. However the Committee felt that the Office of the Premier needs more time to elaborate on how they are going to pay the Service providers that were affected. “
This came after the Committee held a meeting with the Premier who presented a report regarding financial administration of the departments that will be co-managed by the Provincial Treasury after financial instability and mismanagement of budgets.
Premier Mahumapelo said his office held several meetings with the concerned departments to receive comprehensive report on their financial challenges and how each department will address these challenges. “We are not taking over the administration of these departments but rather trying to assist them on ensuring their finances are in order. I would like to commend the three (3) MECs of these departments including staff who continue to ensure these challenges are addressed. The 5th administration inherited these challenges which includes millions of accruals from previous administrations.
“Government cannot achieve its economic goals in agriculture, culture and tourism which includes empowering economies of small dorpies and villages without addressing these challenges that continue to affect the current financial year’s budget. We are also engaging with relevant entities including the Development Bank of Southern Africa. In this financial year, 80% of our target as Office of the Premier will be focusing on performance monitoring and evaluation of departments and municipalities including public entities under the provincial government,” said Premier Mahumapelo.
The Acting Director-General of the Provincial Government, Professor Job Mokgoro said out of R26 billion budget of the provincial government; R1,2 billion accounts for payments of accruals from the previous financial years and R3 billion accounts to possible litigations against departments. “From the remaining amounts, R19 billion accounts to employee compensations and only R3 billion accounts to service delivery,” said Prof Mokgoro.
SCOPA Chairperson, Hon. Mahlakeng Mahlakeng said the Committee is grateful that the Office of the Premier is committed to ensuring provincial departments adhere to financial laws and regulations. “Even though we applaud initiatives by the Premier, the Committee could not get a sense on whether service providers owed for many years are paid and how much interest was accumulated due to these non-payments. There is lack of clarity on whether challenges of accruals of R600 million from Department of Health; R300 million from Department of Education and Sports Development and R300 million from Department of Public Works and Roads are addressed,” said Hon. Mahlakeng.
We are happy to a limited degree, but we need to get a sense of how the service providers will be paid; that there is an engagement with them; that for the education department we need to get information on how many teachers are in excess and how they are going to be paid, “ said the Chairperson of the Committee, Hon. Mahlakeng Mahlakeng.
Hon. Mahlakeng said there must be consequence management for those who created the mess. He said the Standing Committee will further engage with the Office of the Premier in the another meeting on the issue.
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SOURCE: South African Official News