Polokwane Executive Mayor, John Mpe, addressed the media regarding irregular, fruitless, and unauthorized expenditure in the municipality for the year 2023.
This follows a media report by Polokwane Observer, stating that the municipality incurred a total of R1.6 billion in unauthorized expenditure, R480 million in irregular expenditure, and fruitless and wasteful expenditure exceeding R17 million from January to December 2023.
“We are dismayed by this malicious article as it portrays the Municipality as careless and wasteful when it pertains to public funds. This report further paints a bad picture that such wasteful expenditure was incurred only in a single year of 2023, which is also misleading to the public. This is not true,” said Mpe
Mpe revealed that that the cumulative balance for unauthorized expenditure was R1.6 million, dating back to 2019.
“The unauthorised expenditure emanates from items such as the insufficient budget for non-cash items such as depreciation, impairment loss, provision for bad debts that were written off, inventory issued, interest on landfill site provisions and unapproved conditional grant roll-over spent/not cash-backed, loss on disposal of assets and liabilities,” said Mpe
He said as of December 2023, the municipality had accumulated irregular expenditure dating as back as 2020 of a totalling R480, 7 million.
“The amount is accumulated from as far back as 2020. This is the irregular expenditure that emanates from non-compliance with SCM regulations, payment made after the expiry of a contract and possible irregular expenditure due to the allocation of work to a panel of bidders,” added Mpe
Mpe acknowledged a wasteful expenditure of R17 million, assuring the public that an ongoing investigation was underway to address any concerns.
He attributed the irregularities to challenges in adhering to supply chain management regulations, payments made post-contract expiration, and potential irregularities related to work allocation among a panel of bidders.
“The fruitless and wasteful expenditure emanates from interest on payment to Eskom and payments for business not delivered. This relates to the non- delivery of buses for Leeto la Polokwane that were procured prior to the current Council and its leadership,” said Mpe
Mpe said the municipality has put measures in place to curb unauthorized expenditure that include budgeting for depreciation in phases and working in consultation with Treasury to advise on ways to fund non-cash items.