The Auditor General revealed that government departments have wasted over R20 billion in irregular expenditure. R936 million of this was used in fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the 2014/2015 financial year.
And while some government departments have improved their financial management, with the Western Cape and Gauteng obtaining clean audits, a lot of money that could have been put to better use is still being wasted.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the things that government has wasted tax payers’ money on in recent years.
- In 2011, the Free State Provincial government reportedly spent R140 million on redesigning a website for a provincial government department. They denied that they had spent that amount and said the site had only cost R40 million. While this figure is somewhat lower than the initial reported amount, that R40 million could have been used to build at least 400 RDP houses at a cost of R100 000 each.
- Three years ago, Northern Cape Premier Sylvia Lucas found nothing wrong with spending R50 000 on fast food over a period of ten weeks. With millions of South Africans living below the poverty line and so many children going to bed on empty stomachs, this is a shocking waste.
- Last weekend, The Sunday Times reported that the top intelligence brass spent R145 million in irregular expenditure.
- R324 000 of that amount was spent on renting out a furniture store, which the top brass said was a safe house. In addition, they spent R900 000 flying their families around and paying non-existent informers.
- The Auditor General’s report also revealed that certain government departments wasted R11,6 billion on consultancy services. The government has justified this bill by saying they can’t find people with the relevant skills to do the work they need done.
- The Medical Bureau for Occupational Diseases in Braamfontein paid a massive R350 000 for five fridges, five tv sets, three microwaves and a pie warmer, no questions asked.