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Need for amendments to Public Audit Act confirms ANC’s incompetence

Amendments to the Public Audit Act that will allow the Auditor-General (AG) to report officials guilty of financial offences to the prosecuting authorities are absolutely necessary seeing as the ANC does not have the political will to do what needs to be done.

This is not a victory for the ruling party like the ANC Chief Whip, Jackson Mthembu, said in Parliament yesterday. Instead it is an indication that the structures under ANC rule are not effective.

The amendment will allow the AG to report offenders who are guilty of the irregular and criminal expenditure of public money to the relevant authorities.

According to existing legislation, like Section 32 of the Municipal Financial Management Act (MFMA), it is actually the ruling party’s responsibility to take such action. However, the ruling party’s failure to do its duty means that the AG is now saddled with the responsibility.

According to this section of the act, it is the accounting officer’s duty to report any irregular expenditure that may constitute a criminal offence as well as any theft or fraud to the police. The legislation further stipulates that if the accounting officer fails to comply or is guilty of offences, it is the municipal council’s duty to report the matter.

The ANC-controlled municipalities do not comply with these legal regulations even though the FF Plus has repeatedly requested them to do so.

Thus, the fact that the Public Audit Act, which determines the role of the AG, needs to be amended is not a victory for the ANC. The amendments are needed to call officials and politicians who are shamelessly looting tax payers’ money to account and the FF Plus welcomes it.

Contact details: 082 674 6670

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