R76m Budget Allocation Needed to Keep Public Protector's Office Afloat: 'Double It'

R76m Budget Allocation Needed to Keep Public Protector's Office Afloat: 'Double It'

  • The Office of the Public Protector has recorded clean audits from the Auditor-General in the past two years
  • Currently, the office needs a cash boost to carry out important work, Parliament's Portfolio Committee heard
  • Keen observers on social media called for the Public Protector's office to be allocated the funds it needs

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JOHANNESBURG - The Public Protector's office will need a budget allocation of R76 million over the next three years to execute its directive.

Appearing before Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, Public Protector Busisiwe Mkwhebane and her team unpacked the state institution's 2020/21 annual report, News24 reported.

Office of the Public Protector, Clean audits, Auditor General, Cash boost, Directive, Parliament's Portfolio Committee, Justice and Correctional Services, Chapter 9 institution, Observers, Busiswe Mkhwebane
The Office of the Public Protector appeared before Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services. Image: Moeletsi Mabe/ Sunday Times.
Source: UGC

Here, Briefly News learned that the "underfunded" Chapter 9 institution, which saw its then-COO Charles Mohalaba resign with immediate effect in September, according to TimesLIVE, received a clean audit for the second time.

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Having also recorded a clean audit for the 2019/20 financial year, Mkhwebane in May warned that proposed budget cuts would undermine the quality and timeframe within which the entity can finalise investigations.

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Consistent budget cuts unabating

A total of R16.1 million was cut from the office's budget for the 2020/21 financial year. Meanwhile, for the 2021/22 financial year, the entity was originally allocated R360.6 million, which was later reduced by R28.7 million.

The trend of a lower amount than initially forecasted is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

South Africans were as vocal as ever on social media, calling for the Public Protector's office to be allocated the funds it critically needs.

Differing opinions on cash injection

Some even called for more than the R76 million the office currently needs to be allocated to it. However, some were critical of the office.

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Briefly News takes a look at all the mixed reactions below to the news report below.

@Thabiso47272647 wrote:

"The most feared woman "Miss Clean audit". I hope the lovely and hardworking Public Protector is fine and safe wherever she is!"

@DrRobmaseko said:

"Give her the money, she has done well in that office she also doesn’t have a history of misusing money as witnessed in the clean audit reports she received since occupying the office."

@GerBearMonaz added:

"Let it also be put on record that she has delivered yet another clean audit."

Mkhwebane pulls plug on race for Chief Justice 'to focus on serving the public'

In other news, Briefly News previously reported that Mkhwebane is no longer in the race to become the next Chief Justice of South Africa after pulling out of the race on Friday.

SABC News reported that Mkhwebane, who was among the eight candidates to assume the mantle, drew back on her candidacy for the position "to focus on serving the public."

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ANC laments low turnout by voters for losing important wards, SA slams party

Mkhwebane accepted the nomination to take over from the now-departed Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng after the lobby group SA Natives Forum and Democracy in Action put her name forward.

Western Cape High Court Judge President John Hlophe was the other name put forward for the hot seat by the group, which did so in conjunction with the Black Lawyers Association and Democracy in Action.

Source: Briefly News

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