No over or under spending of government funds - MEC Coleman

17 May 2005

Nelspruit – MEC for Finance Mmathulare Coleman reminded accounting officers in the province that no over or under spending of government funds will be accommodated. She made this warning when she tabled the provincial budget at the legislature chamber 08 March 2005.

The 2005/06 budget has total revenue of R15,075 billion and represents a 9.6% increase from the previous year’s budget of R13,788 billion.

MEC Coleman said the reminder was in the spirit of creating good governance especially around promoting a culture of accountability and transparency in the public sector.

“Anything to this regard (over or under spending) will be penalised by withholding of performance bonuses and payment progression,” MEC Coleman warned.

She said in the event that there was a recurrence of such acts by accounting officers, a recommendation will be forwarded by Executive Authorities to the Premier for possible dismissals, adding that this will indicate the commitment of this government, to the prudent management of public resources.

“There is no justification by departments to overspend on their allocated funds and equally there is no justification for under spending, while our people are dying of malnutrition and hunger,” MEC Coleman said.

She said the Public Finance Management Act encourages Accounting Officers to constantly interact with their Executive Authorities, and if there is good communication between the two parties, there will be no surprises come the financial year-end.

“Potential problems within programmes, challenges in the implementation of projects and the flow of cash will be detected early,” MEC Coleman said.

She said to complement government’s Basic Accounting System, the Provincial Treasury is going to source a financial management package that will assist with the development of an accurate database.

“This will put us in a good position so as to advice departments in time of any irregularities in the accounting system, and we hope that this will go a long way in assisting the province to have correct statistics and usable information to allow proper planning,” MEC Coleman said.

The R15 billion budget that MEC Coleman tabled is made of R9,976 billion of equitable share, R4,802 billion of Conditional Grants, R272,407 million of Own Revenue and R54,679 million from the provincial surpluses.

The breakdown of the budget by major spending items is as follows, the Compensation of Employees (R7 billion), the Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) (R1 billion), Goods and Services (R3 billion) and Transfers and Subsidies (R4 billion).

MEC Coleman said the 2005 budget makes a significant in-road towards government’s goals of accelerating economic growth, advancing social development and increasing the levels of investments.

“The budget we are tabling is a people’s budget that tries to address issues that affect the lives of our people, and I believe we are on the right track, a track that is destined to realising a better life for all,” MEC Coleman said.