Annual Reports reveal more than R50 billion in Irregular, Fruitless and Wasteful Expenditure

Issued by John Steenhuisen MP – Chief Whip of the Democratic Alliance
12 Oct 2017 in News

An evaluation of those annual reports submitted to Parliament by national departments and their entities have revealed that R51.1 billion was wasted in the 2016/2017 financial year as a result of Irregular and Fruitless and Wasteful Expenditure.

Entities were the biggest offenders, accounting for nearly R35.9 billion, or R70%, of the total.

This staggering amount is sure to increase as the departments of Environmental Affairs, Defence, and State Security have still not tabled their annual reports. Similarly, South African Revenue Service, South African Airways, South African Express, South African National Roads Agency, and Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa have not finalised their annual reports.

Audit results of departments and entities were once again dismal with no fewer than 22 outstanding audit reports, as well as a litany of disclaimed (3), adverse (4) or qualified (28) audit opinions. More than 20% of all audits were either outstanding or failed to meet accounting standards.

Concerningly, the Auditor-General (A-G) raised “going concern” issues with the following entities: Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), the National Health Laboratory Service, PetroSA and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). The A-G could not provide audit opinions for either the Unemployment insurance Fund or the Compensation Fund.

National departments once again failed to meet their own targets with key ministries among the worst performing:

Department Percentage of targets met
Women 36%
Water and Sanitation 37%
Energy 47.8%
Health 59%


Similarly, key entities are among the worst performing:


Entities Percentage of targets met
South African Post Office 22%
South African Council of Educators 25%
IPID 35%
South African Social Security Agency 45%
SABC 45%
Industrial Development Corporation 46%
Central Energy Fund 50%
Compensation Fund 50%
Transnet 53%
Office of the Public Protector 53%


South Africans run the risk of becoming jaded by the governance failures of the ANC government. However, we must never lose sight of the opportunities lost by the R50 billion squandered through Irregular and Fruitless and Wasteful Expenditure. Governance failures come at a great cost to South Africa’s most vulnerable. We cannot rest until every valuable resource is directed at improving the lives of honest, hardworking South Africans.