The R35 billion extravagance


Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi told reporters in Pretoria that he was shocked at the almost R35bn in irregular expenditure uncovered by the department.
“The public works turnaround has uncovered R34.9bn irregular expenditure, some of which goes back as far as 2001,” he said.
Of the sum, R1.1bn was believed to have been lost to fraud and corruption. The matter was uncovered during the department’s review of all transactions dating back to 2009/10.
“The value of irregular expenditure that is reported in the annual financial statements of both the [department’s] main vote and the PMTE [property management trading entity] has increased substantially to a combined figure of R34.9bn. In a word [it is] shocking,” said Nxesi.
He explained that irregular transactions did not necessarily mean fraud had been committed.
“The department may have obtained value through such transactions although some technical discrepancies occurred during the procurement or payment process.”
He said the irregular expenditure was caused by incomplete documentation, incorrect approval of transactions, non-competitive bidding processes, incorrect calculations, and emergency procurement for non-emergency situations.

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