The concern expressed by the Auditor-General (AG) about the loss of infrastructure projects in the Free State and the many inept officials who are unable to properly manage these projects confirms the FF Plus’s view that officials and contractors ought to be appointed on merit and not because they are ANC cadres.
Incompetent officials, poor project management and a lack of accountability are some of the causes of the more than R361 million in expenses offering no value for money.
The AG made these statements during the discussion of the Free State’s 2022/23 annual financial report in the Legislature’s Public Accounts Committee.
The Free State Legislature, Treasury, Housing Fund and Fleet Trading Entity received clean audits, while eight departments and entities’ audit results remained unchanged with conditions.
Both the AG and the Free State Treasury expressed their concern about the eight departments’ viability.
The main issue is that a large portion of one financial year’s funds are used to settle the debt of the previous year.
One such a case pointed out by the AG is the Fezile Dabi Stadium in Parys, which cost R261 million and was inaugurated in 2013 by the then Premier, Ace Magashule. It is now in disuse as a result of looting.
The fact that the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture, which built the Stadium, has not investigated the fruitless expenditure at all demonstrates that the ANC cannot and will not accept accountability for its looting of the Free State over the past 30 years.
The FF Plus will apply pressure in the Free State Legislature to ensure that contractors that fail to do their jobs are reported and not allowed to conduct business with government again.