Today the Auditor-General (AG) in KwaZulu-Natal presented its latest findings in the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Legislature and has raised various concerns regarding the persistent under-achievement of targets in the province, emphasising that this issue stems from poor expenditure management, workmanship, and project management practices.
In the wake of the damning recommendations by the Auditor-General, the Premier and Finance MEC of KwaZulu-Natal have yet again demonstrated their stunning ineptitude and blatant disregard for the principles of responsible governance. These findings reveal not only a flagrant failure on their part but a complete lack of accountability and commitment to serving the people of the province.
The Executive Council’s supposed development and monitoring of audit improvement plans are nothing more than a smokescreen to conceal their incompetence.
In a province plagued by economic and social challenges, the Premier and Finance MEC have not only failed to address the underlying issues but have allowed wasteful expenditure and poor management to fester unchecked.
The promise to follow up on material irregularities is mere lip service, as they have repeatedly demonstrated a lack of the will and ability to take swift and effective action against those responsible.
The Premier’s feeble attempt to interrogate the disconnect between budget spend and performance targets at various departments is nothing short of an indictment on their leadership. It reflects their inability to ensure that taxpayers’ hard-earned money is spent responsibly and effectively. Their reluctance to enforce fiscal discipline and hold departments accountable is a disservice to the people they are meant to represent.
Furthermore, the Premier’s proposed engagement with departments to develop disaster management plans, aided by the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Unit, only highlights their reactive, rather than proactive, approach to governance. In a region susceptible to a myriad of potential disasters, this lackadaisical response endangers the safety and wellbeing of KwaZulu-Natal’s residents.
The Director General and the M&E Unit’s task of verifying infrastructure projects and monitoring service delivery is a task they should not have to bear. The Premier and Finance MEC should have been at the forefront of ensuring that projects are executed efficiently and services are delivered promptly. Their failure to do so reflects a glaring lack of leadership and an absence of commitment to the development and prosperity of the province.
It is abundantly clear that the Premier and Finance MEC of KwaZulu-Natal have repeatedly let down all the people of KZN.
The Auditor-General’s recommendations are a stark reminder of their ineffectual leadership, and the people of KwaZulu-Natal deserve better.
It is high time for a change in the leadership of this province, one that is marked by accountability, transparency, and a genuine commitment to the welfare of its citizens.
Lourens De Klerk, MPL
IFP KZN Spokesperson on Finance and SCOPA
082 557 1579