DA Northern Cape Leader
082 383 6914
The Democratic Alliance (DA) finds it ominous that R2.7 million worth of machinery and equipment can go missing from the Economic Development & Tourism Department without any official being held accountable for this.
I will be writing to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Economic Development & Tourism Department in the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature, Hon. Kagisho Molusi, requesting that he summon the Department to reappear before the committee and account for this.
This comes after the presentation by the Auditor-General (A-G) of the Department of Economic Development & Tourism’s annual report findings, in a Portfolio Committee meeting on Tuesday. Most concerning was that the A-G was “unable to obtain appropriate audit evidence to confirm the existence of machinery and equipment state at R2 772 849” from the Departments financial statements. It is totally unacceptable that a department would lose or be unable to account for equipment under any circumstances, as this either points to gross maladministration or even possible corrupt and fraudulent activity.
The Department also failed to “disclose tangible and intangible assets under its control where future economic benefits are expected to be derived from their use”, which is in relation to the assets used for the Maloof Money Cup. The DA finds this particularly strange, especially as it is an oversight which relates to the Departments core function, which is to promote and generate economic development and activity in the province. How then does it make such an elementary mistake?
It is no surprise that the Department received a qualified audit, as some of the findings by the A-G paint a picture of a Department which has poor internal oversight and ultimately poor accountability. The A-G confirms this by citing that the “accounting officer did not ensure that the internal audit function was established” which is a requirement by law. Such a function is one of the most effective means of ensuring accountability in a Department, and the question must be asked given the trends we seen in Departments under MEC. John Block, whether there is another more sinister reason for the lack internal oversight and controls in his Departments?
It is our express view that MEC. John Block, in the name of good governance, cannot allow this situation to continue, and must take responsibility for the fact that such poor governance principles have occurred under his watch, as ultimately the buck stops with him.