Thursday, October 14, 2010

44 Billion Rand "Disappears"

Funding bungles mirror poor matric results

Three of the country's provincial education departments cannot explain what they did with more than R44-billion allocated to them in the past financial year.

Meisie Nkau, business executive in the office of the auditor-general, told Parliament yesterday that only three of the country's provincial education departments were given clean audits for the 2009-2010 financial year - Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Presenting the audit outcomes of all provinces to the parliamentary portfolio committee for basic education, Nkau said the worst managers of public money were the education departments of Eastern Cape, Limpopo and North West.

The audit report of each department included a disclaimer by the auditor-general to the effect that he could not verify entries in their accounts because they were not supported by documentation.

The Eastern Cape and Limpopo education departments produced matric results that were among the country's worst last year.

The Free State, Mpumalanga and Northern Cape audits were qualified because of auditors' concerns.

Nkau told stunned MPs: "There was a lack of internal controls totally. It is disappointing to note that three of the nine provinces regressed when we should be working towards a clean administration.

"The deficiencies open gaps for fraud, and for irregular and wasteful expenditure," she said

Compounding the problem, she said, was poor oversight by provincial MECs, their heads of department and chief financial officers.

The lion's share of the national education budget, R123-billion, goes to the provinces.

Eastern Cape, the worst province in terms of financial management, received R20-billion from the Treasury but could not explain how R1.5-billion of it was spent. Many children in the province are still taught in open fields and under trees.

DA education spokesman Wilmot James yesterday announced the launch of a campaign to identify under-resourced schools and determine the effects of wasteful expenditure, corruption and bad management.

James will begin in Eastern Cape with visits to seven "mud schools" that are taking the government to court alleging that it has failed to provide adequate buildings.

After the auditor-general's presentation to the portfolio committee, ANC MP Nomalungelo Gina asked: "Are we going to continue giving them money whereas they can't account? What are the steps we are going to take because we can't allow this?"

A study by Stellenbosch University has shown that almost half (47%) the Grade 3 pupils in Western Cape cannot read and write to the required standard. In addition, only 35% are sufficiently skilled in maths.
The Western Cape education department commissioned the study to assess performance in the foundation grades of 45 schools.

It was found that teachers often did not "set the bar high enough for children" and that pupils did not have all the text books they needed.

"It was also found that there is limited reading and writing in classrooms," said Bronagh Casey, spokesman for education MEC Donald Grant.

Van der Berg and his team made several recommendations, including limiting classes to 40 pupils and grouping schools according to their performance to allow "for far greater targeted and specific assistance to under-performing schools".

Principals will have to present quarterly reports to the department, detailing how much of the curriculum they have covered.

Education expert Graham Bloch said literacy and numeracy levels in Western Cape and Gauteng, though unacceptable, were higher than in the rest of the country.

"Eastern Cape, Limpopo and Mpumalanga perform badly in all phases.

"These are poorer, more rural provinces [in which] parents are generally more submissive - unlike parents in Western Cape or Gauteng, who are more likely to put pressure on the system to improve conditions at schools," he said.

Best Comment by PWS80:

It is not often that I have to concede that I was wrong.

I have maintained for over a year now that the ANC steals R50 BILLION a year from us. A gross under estimation on my part. I apologise.

Just two departments account for R54,5 BILLION a year - Social Security (under Social Development?) at R10,5 billion, and Education at R44 Billion.

There are 44 National Departments or ministries
Then we have all the various government companies, like BlueIQ, Eskom, Transnet, Denel, SAA, etc where billions more "disappear".

Assuming some efficiency in some departments, an extrapolation could conclude as much as R150 Billion a year "disappearing.

Add to the the R97 Billion in Bling expenditure, the extra R1 TRILLION that the power stations are going to cost us because of ANC incompetence, and we find that the choice of the ANC as government over the last ten years alone has cost us in excess of R2,5 TRILLION.

Note, I haven't even factored the conservative number, as provided by Gordhan, of tenders costing us 25% MORE than they should because of crony allocation.

Looking at it another way, we could have ZERO RATE VAT on EVERYTHING, and still had change, if these blatant theft, bling spending and mismanagement did not occur.

What R2,5 TRILLION could have bought us:

- The entire Eskom power station rollout, with R1,5 Trillion change
- 50,000 additional schools
- 10,000 additional hospitals
- 35,714,000 RDP houses
- 1,300 YEARS of the additional salaries requirements that would have prevented the latest strikes.
- An increase from R3000 to R21,000 per year in child support grants, for 10 YEARS.

You got the government you voted for. Well done, you must be so proud.

14 Opinion(s):

FreeThinker said...

But Exzanian, according to pikkewyndoos it's "petty thieving". I see the site is still being befouled.

Viking said...

such a waste. "disappears" down the back of their Swiss bank accounts while children stay illiterate. The bastards.

Dachshund said...

Gauteng Police just announced the discovery of an arms cache of 200 semi automatic rifles with 250,000 rounds of ammunition, 10 anti-tank missiles, 4 grenade launchers, 2 tonnes of heroin, R80 million in forged South African banknotes and 25 trafficked Nigerian prostitutes all in a block of flats behind the Hillbrow Public Library.

Local residents were stunned.

A community spokesman said: "We're shocked. We never knew we had a library in Hillbrow!!"

Barney the Dinosaur said...

Oh come now, come now ... if it was R45 billion stolen I too would think it a problem; but a mere R44 billion? Really, some people make such an issue out of nothing!

In all seriousness, can someone confirm if the estimated R2.5 trillion figure mentioned by PWS80 (whoever that is), at the end of the article, has any real credibility or substance - I really would like to know.

For if anywhere near true, even I wouldn't be able to grin and bear it - and that really is saying something.

Viking said...

I deleted Rooster's comment about how we're lying about the 44 Bn.
Yes, lying.

Take it up with buddy.

Sean said...

@Viking, I think that Rooster should apply for a job in the ANC. He certainly has the credentials. If something doesn't make you look good, simply deny it and tell everyone they are lying.

Exzanian said...

15 October 2010 23:57
Spot on Viking! This article is 100% attributable to Timesonline, down to the comment I inserted. Don't blame us for quoting MSM articles verbatim....

Anonymous said...


PWS80 makes up stats from time to time to make it look important. He has done that for many years. He used to love the Fin24 website as well. Most times he is correct but like this he blows it out of proportion.

Looks to me that the ANC knows its time is coming to an end so they are stealing like there is no tomorrow. Its a pity that the ANC is ruining the country for all. What a bloody waste!

Barney the Dinosaur said...

Thank you for replying JB. My knowledge of economics isn't what it could be (well, I am a dinosaur, all said and done).

There are some rather wild commentators on this blog, but I have noticed that you (and several others) strike me as being balanced and fair. Good for you.

Unfortunately, the folks at SA Sux are somewhat in a kind of chest-thumping competition to see who can be more racist - really not cool or necessary, from my prehistoric point of view (a pity, as many of their articles have merit).

BTW, I used to be more of a JD man - hope that doesn't offend.

Oh well, time to grin inanely and dance about ...

Anonymous said...

Does SAS (South Africa Sucks ) still exist? Can someone post a link?

Anonymous said...

@ sean. Rooster is already in the ANC. Sounds like Carl Niehaus at times

Barney the Dinosaur said...

@ anon 2:39
Umm ... being from the Jurassic period and all, I'm somewhat of a technophobe, but if you type "my south africa sucks" on Google, you should find them less-than-liberal critters.

I use Firefox as a browser; haven't a clue if that makes any difference.

Hope that helps. Now please, all together: "I love you, you love me etc. etc."

Piet said...

Jim Bean:

"Looks to me that the ANC knows its time is coming to an end so they are stealing like there is no tomorrow. Its a pity that the ANC is ruining the country for all. What a bloody waste!"

Well, I thought corruption started right at the start of the ANC rule (Arm deals, etc.) in fact some of the ANC guys in Lusaka were involved intro drug and car trafficking during the "struggle years".

Now, the bigger problem is the fact that the ANC is the racial party of the vast majority of SA, the victors, the struggle. The temptation of feeling immune to any real revenge by the electorate is always very big then: there is no credible alternative in most cases for many years.

(Same in Algeria with the FLN against the French settlers and some Kabyle "collaborators", the FLN is still in power...)

Viking said...

Yes, Piet, but you know they'll turn up the heat when they realise the game is up. They'll abandon all pretence about 'equality' etc and begin the Big Grab, to see how much they can stash away in Swiss banks before they lose power.
They have a good few years left before that happens though.