The government owes the Auditor General’s (AG’s) office R709 million in overdue charges for audits of numerous government entities.
This was revealed in parliament on Thursday, EyeWitness News reports. According to the report, half the amount is owed by municipalities, with 27 having entered into an agreement with the Auditor General to repay what they owe the organisation.
In March, The Daily Dispatch reported that Eastern Cape municipalities owed the Auditor General’s office over R40 million. The Eastern Cape government disclosed this information at the province’s legislative meeting.
Eastern Cape treasury spokeswoman Nosisa Sogayise advised municipalities to budget properly in order to meet their financial obligations.
“Municipalities are therefore advised to budget adequately for audit fees, and are reminded on a monthly basis to verify amounts owed, and pay undisputed amounts to the AG and to others they owe.
“This is a work in progress and the systems are in place to deal with the repayments. Visits to individual affected municipalities are also undertaken to discuss financial management,” Sogayise said.
The failure to make payments in the Eastern Cape was due to municipalities mismanaging their funds and thus not being able to pay their debts, United Democratic Movement MPL Max Mahlathi told the newspaper.
“In order to adequately deal with this, the provincial government must strengthen financial management in these councils,” Mhlathi said.
In his 2014/2015 the AG found that the government had spent R25,7 billion in irregular expenditure. Auditor General Kimi Makwethu said some government departments were still too slow in responding to recommendations from his office. He mentioned that the lack of response to the recommendations had led to the audits not improving much.
The office of the AG is taking legal action against those who still owe them money.