- A recent report released by the Auditor-General revealed wasteful and reckless expenditure across many state-owned enterprises
- The report revealed that the Free State had paid R79.3 Million had been paid to Gupta-owned newspaper, The New Age
- It also revealed that Ace Magashule has interfered with the tender process for an RDP project in order to ensure a company owned in part by his daughter was awarded the tender
Briefly.co.za reported earlier that a recent report released by the Auditor-General with regards to the financial state of government-owned enterprises, including the national and provincial government departments, had shown a growing trend of wasteful and irregular expenditure. The Free State was no exception to this trend, showing that the province’s audit outcomes have significantly regressed over the period of the last four years.
The Auditor-General’s report blamed the lack of accountability with regards to spending as well as a disregard in leadership for internal controls for the regression witnessed in recent audit outcomes.
The report revealed that this office, headed by former premier Ace Magashule, has spent R79.3 Million on The New Age, A Gupta-Owned newspaper. This showed that out of the eight provinces that provided R113 Million on the newspaper, the Free State has contributed to most.
The report stated that the provincial government had failed overall to hold itself accountable for its spending. The money, that had been intended for the provinces people and the betterment of their lives, had been misused.
Under Magashule’s leadership, it is alleged that the former premier had impeded due process to ensure that a company partially owned by his daughter received housing contracts worth a staggering amount of R150 Million. Unital Holdings was appointed to build RDP houses in Bethlehem without following standard procurement procedures and was paid in millions by the Department of Human Settlements.
The Auditor-General’s report further went on to state that “we noted poor project planning and management at Human Settlements’ Bethlehem Baken Park Ext. 5 (Vogelfontein) housing project, which was irregularly awarded. Construction on the project started on 15 April 2013, but it had not been completed, with R81 million of the contract amount of R138 million already having been spent”.
The Auditor-General says that there is an increasing need for greater accountability in the province as the Free State had been unable to sustain any of its clean audit’s and warned that the trend would only continue deteriorating if those in leadership did not set the right tone.
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