AfriForum’s launched its national campaign against the misuse of taxpayer money, “Genoeg is Genoeg” (enough is enough), at a media conference in Centurion today. As part of this campaign, AfriForum will visit eight provinces in the next two weeks, during which criminal charges will be laid against 13 provincial heads of department in terms of Article 86(1) of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999.
These 13 departments were identified by the civil rights organisation as the main culprits of irregular, fruitless, wasteful and unauthorised expenses, who together wasted R11,63 billion of the total misused amount of R28,26 billion for the 2014/2015 financial year. This information was obtained from the General Consolidated Annual Report of the Auditor General (AG).
AfriForum also studied the annual reports of the different departments.
The first charges were laid against four Gauteng heads of department at the Johannesburg Central Police Station directly after the media conference. These departments are respectively the Departments of Roads and Transport, Health, Education and Human Settlements. Of these four, the Department of Roads and Transport is the biggest perpetrator, according to the AG’s report: irregular, fruitless, wasteful and unauthorised expenses by the Department amounted to R2,19 billion.
“The misuse of taxpayers’ money is a national crisis. It is time that taxpayers put pressure on the National Prosecuting Authority to make examples of heads of department who do not fulfil their duties as prescribed by the Act. They are some of the biggest perpetrators in the misuse of taxpayers’ money,” said Monique Taute, AfriForum’s National Campaign Coordinator.
According to Taute, the charges against the heads of department are based on their alleged financial misuse in terms of the Act.
“They are the officers who are responsible for preventing irregular, fruitless, wasteful and unauthorised expenses and holding guilty parties accountable.”
Taute also said that the heads of department were required to keep complete records of their department’s financial business in terms of prescribed legislation, norms and standards.
“It is evident from the 13 departments’ annual reports, as well as the AG’s report, that these responsibilities are not fulfilled at all.”
AfriForum wants to encourage the public to put the necessary pressure on the National Prosecuting Authority by sending an SMS with their name to 45352 (R1) or by signing the charges on AfriForum’s web site at www.afriforum.co.za.