Free State 0% clean audits: A fish rots from the head down

Issued by David van Vuuren MPL – DA Chief Whip of the Official Opposition in the Free State Legislature
20 Nov 2019 in Press Statements

In a most recent report tabled by the Auditor General South Africa (AGSA) on clean audits per province, it was reported that for a second year running the Free State province under an ANC-led government achieved 0% in clean audits across the province, and therefore boasts the poorest performing figures in South Africa.

The AGSA cites the root causes for the lack of improvement in audit outcomes in the Free State was a slow or no response in improving internal controls and addressing risk areas, instability or vacancies in key positions and inadequate consequences for poor performance and transgressions.

The Premier’s office received a disclaimed opinion for a second consecutive year even though this Department needs to lead by example.

It appears that Premier Sisi Ntombela is failing to manage the legacy left by her predecessor former Premier Ace Magashule. Magashule’s regime is notorious for serious incidences of malfeasance which the people of the Free State have paid dearly for.

Magashule’s comments whilst Premier that the, “Public Finance Management Act is stifling radical economic transformation” was an example of his unwillingness to conform with legal requirements regarding the expenditure of public funds.

In fact, his comments appear to have been taken literally by the Ntombela administration who continue to ignore PFMA requirements as is substantiated by the 0% clean audits.

Both Magashule and Ntombela are proof that a fish rots from the head down as is witnessed in the continuous poor audit outcomes in the Free State.

The DA shall remain resolute in raising issues which demand that the necessary investigations be conducted to hold politicians accountable.

The DA shall continue to emphasise the importance of implementing robust alternatives for the Free State, as already evidenced in the DA-run Western Cape with a 79% clean audit outcome, the highest in the country.