The Gauteng Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) and Human Settlements, has finalised its analysis of the provincial CoGTA and Human Settlements’ performance for the 2019/2020 financial year.
This comes after an interrogation from the Auditor General’s (AG) report received last week, resulting in the committee submitting its concerns to the two departments on their performance.
The departments – who were summoned to appear before the committee – this week gave presentations on their annual reports, while also responding to concerns raised.
While the AG’s report acknowledged strides made by Human Settlements to improve its audit outcome, following last year’s qualified opinion, the committee expressed concern with the report regarding the increase in the department’s irregular expenditure.
The committee has called for a turnaround strategy to address the matter.
Committee chairperson, Kedibone Diale said the committee has also asked the department to outline its measures to improve the participation of Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMME’s), particularly those owned by designated sectors in the economy, amongst other things.
Furthermore, the department had to provide a breakdown of its performance interventions on areas of underperformance including legacy project housing units; hostel construction; hostel detailed planning; hostel community residential units (CRUs) rectified; hostel maintenance; as well as title deeds registration, including pre, post, and new.
Overall, Diale said the committee called the department to provide detailed accounts on the misalignment of targets achieved and budget spent.
“The committee is cognisant of persisting housing issues within the Human Settlements Department and is committed to continuously holding the department and municipalities accountable for addressing these,” Diale said on Friday.
Gauteng Partnership Fund
Regarding the housing and the Gauteng Partnership Fund, the AG believes that the latter underperformed with audit findings, which has been the case for the past two financial years.
Diale said the committee is concerned about the housing fund’s increase in irregular expenditure in the current year from R0 to R11 704 448; and requires the department to tighten controls in this regard.
The AG found that partnership fund’s performance regressed to unqualified with material findings on non-compliance with laws and regulations.
“This is mainly due to goods and services with a transaction value below R500 000 which were procured without obtaining the required price quotations.
“The departments and its entities were warned on the implications of questionable procurement practices; and reiterated the requirement for compliance with standard Supply Chain Management (SCM) processes as outlined in the Public Financial Management Act,” the chairperson said.
CoGTA commended for another clean audit
Meanwhile, Diale has congratulated the Department of CoGTA for another clean audit with no qualifications.
The AG reported that CoGTA’s management, maintained the good practice of performing adequate reviews on the financial statements and performance reporting, which contributed to the sustained clean audit outcome.
Key controls over supply chain management were also adequately implemented as there was a decrease in irregular expenditure.
Upon appearing before the committee on Thursday, the department presented a detailed performance breakdown on some of their key targets; as requested by Members of the Committee.
“The Portfolio Committee welcomed statistical breakdown on the notable achievement of 33% of the planned 40% of employment equity target for women in Senior Management Service (SMS) positions for the 2019/2020. The committee is pleased with the level of cooperation and compliance to Cooperative Governance displayed by all reporting entities throughout this process,” Diale said.
She urged both departments to be wary of irregular expenditure and procurement trends that could lead to mismanagement of funds.
“The committee remains committed to exercising oversight; through making recommendations for improvement in the service delivery of the departments, entities and municipalities.
“We have the responsibility to ensure the implementation of these recommendations; and will conduct due oversight to ensure those mandated to deliver services to the people of Gauteng do so with transparency and accountability,” Diale said.