The total accumulated misappropriation of tax payers’ money by national departments during the 2015/2016 fiscal year was as high as R16 billion, a new report claims. And now AfriForum wants to criminally charge the directors general responsible based on their alleged financial misappropriation.
The report – penned by minority rights group AfriForum – says this figure was generated as part of its national whistle-blower campaign and is part of a report that exposes government misappropriation of funds. The national departments of Transport, Water and Sanitation (DWS) and Basic Education are the main perpetrators that are collectively responsible for the misappropriation of nearly R9 billion.
This information was among others obtained through the departments’ annual reports, each including a report from the Auditor General (AG). According to Monique Taute, Head of AfriForum’s Anticorruption Unit, the Department of Transport misappropriated an accumulated amount of R4,23 billion.
“A functional public transport system is of critical importance for the growth and progress of South Africa. It is unacceptable that this department misappropriated more than R4 billion while the lack of proper public transport infrastructure impairs thousands of citizens,” says Taute.
Furthermore, the DWS misappropriated R2,58 billion, while numerous communities do not have access to clean and drinkable water. “In 2015 more than 25% of households reported regular water supply problems. At times the water supply was off for days on end, which contradicts national legislation.”
The Department of Basic Education misappropriated a total accumulated amount of R2,41 billion.
“Roughly 80% of South African schools are dysfunctional, mainly due to poor and insufficient infrastructure. The department could have spent the billions of rand that was misappropriated to purchase and distribute urgent supplies such as school desks, chairs, handbooks and workbooks among other things,” says Taute.
AfriForum’s Anticorruption Unit will during the next couple of weeks submit criminal charges in accordance with Section 86(1) of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No. 1 of 1999) against the Directors-General of these three national departments.
According to Taute the charges against the Directors-General will be based on their alleged financial misappropriation in accordance with legislation.
“The Directors-General are the accountable officers who are responsible for preventing irregular, fruitless, wasteful and unauthorised expenses and holding guilty parties accountable. The Directors-General are also obliged to keep complete records of the department’s financial affairs in compliance with the prescribed legislation, norms and standards.”
AfriForum encourages the public to place the necessary pressure on the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) by sending an SMS with their names to 45352 (R1).