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Irregular spending a regular failing of this government!

By: Mpho Sindane 2014-08-20 10:37


Service delivery protests will continue unabated for as long as our elected representatives fail to manage public finance properly.

Recently the entire budget for managing the Soweto Theatre was blown, in just 48 hours.

What are even more troubling are the allegations that the ANC in the City of Johannesburg is using its council majority to try to sweep the scandal under the carpet.

According to council documents, the member of the mayoral committee for community development is accused of the irregular expenditure of R 4, 5 million. The annual budget for the Soweto Theatre is R 5 million, so now, thanks to the committee member The theatre must get along with the meager R 500 000 for the rest of the budget year.

But it would appear that fellow ANC Councilors are determined to protect the culprit and to hell with the theatre. They have used their majority to block attempts to hold him liable.

With this sort of attitude to the abuse of public funds, the government should not be surprised by all the service delivery protests.

The Soweto Theatre is but one example of how the public is routinely short-changed by the government.

Blowing a budget in two days is described as “irregular expenditure” but unfortunately, “Irregular expenditure” is an all-too-regular occurrence at all levels of government.

The Council has yet to explain where the R 4, 5 million went but the media have a responsibility to ask questions about it and the public has a right to know.

Many ANC officials, including President Jacob Zuma, have told us to tighten our belts and spend wisely and sparingly.

We except those charged with the management of public funds to lead the way.

We fully agree with those demanding a full investigation into this fiasco. The public purse is there to serve the public, not government officials.

We see the elephant in the room and, for all its smoke and mirrors, the government would not be able to hide it.

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