Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA) is concerned about the 75% increase in irregular municipal expenditure, from R16 212-billion in the previous year to R28 376-billion in the year under review, as reported in the recent Auditor General’s report.
While CESA acknowledges the significant effort made by Municipalities in 2016-17 to identify and transparently report on irregular expenditure incurred in previous years, the organisation believes that there still remains a lot to be done.
We believe that the main reason for the increase in irregular expenditure is the continued non-compliance with supply chain management regulations and lack of consequences for mis-management thereof,” cautioned CESA CEO Chris Campbell.
He adds that CESA believes that National Treasury’s Standard for Infrastructure Procurement and Delivery Management (SIPDM) is the model for Infrastructure delivery that should be implemented by all spheres of Government to ensure compliance and adherence to best practice but that someone needs to take ownership and be accountable for it.
CESA is alarmed that since the adoption and implementation of this procurement system there is still no Infrastructure Directorate at National Treasury that is taking ownership and accountability for the implementation and monitoring of compliance with this Standard.
“There are no in-house Infrastructure specialists in either the offices of the Chief Procurement Officer or that of Auditor General. The lack of appropriate skills in both these departments needs to be addressed urgently if the ‘Value for Money’ consideration of an annual R300-billion spent on infrastructure is to materialise. This becomes all the more imperative with the significantly reduced budget available for infrastructure development,” concludes Campbell.
The SIPDM programme was designed to migrate the emphasis away from administration and focus on Governance and Leadership. This will ensure that infrastructure is delivered with the correct knowledge and competence. It is this efficiency and effectiveness that needs to be the current focus of government, in particular National Treasury.
As the leading body of Consulting Engineering companies in South Africa, CESA remains committed to partner with government and the AG’s Office to ensure value for money and service delivery imperatives are attained and the scourge of unauthorised expenditure is arrested.
CESA has over 550-member firms, who employ more than 22 000 people nationally. We remain committed and willing to assist government do more with less, without compromising on the quality of infrastructure all our citizens deserve.