Auditor-General says irregular expenditure in Eastern Cape worst in SA

Auditor-General says irregular expenditure in Eastern Cape worst in SA

- The Auditor-General has found that the Eastern Cape has the most irregular expenditure

- Misspending of state funds remains an issue across the board, however

- Government as a whole is estimated to have wasted just under R300 billion between 2013 and 2018

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During the 2017/18 financial year, the Eastern Cape recorded more irregular expenditure than any other province.

Total irregular expenditure in the Eastern Cape totalled R7.3 billion.

This is according to the Auditor-General's report.

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The report indicated that the financial situation in many municipalities is dismal, with only 8% of municipalities receiving a clean audit.

Nelson Mandela Bay, in particular, had many problems. According to The South African, the metro wasted funds on things such as subsidised prepaid electricity meters. 

Additionally, some of this irregular expenditure has not been disclosed at all, has gathered. The Auditor-General raised red flags about certain poor practices in the metro, such as poor accounting and the writing off of expenditure as irrecoverable without first doing a proper investigation. 

Irregular expenditure is defined as any spending that does not follow due process. This kind of wasteful spending remains an endemic issue in the country. According to some estimates, government wasted a total of just under R300 billion between 2015 and 2019.

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Some government figures, such as the Northern Cape's premier Zamani Saul and Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, have spoken about cutting costs and using state funds more efficiently. 

While these are laudable goals, the Auditor-General's report suggests that addressing government misspending will be no easy task.

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