The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has postponed its meetings for this week. Scopa was meant to hold a hearing with the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Ms Nomvula Mokonyane, on irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure as well as payables and receivables. Scopa had already met on two occasions with the department and officials but was not satisfied with the responses it received, that is why the Committee scheduled a meeting with the Minister.
Scopa today received information from the Ministry that the Minister was just released from hospital and is recuperating at home and will therefore be unable to even fly to Cape Town for the Committee meeting. Scopa will arrange another date for this engagement since the Committee views the challenges facing the department in a serious light. The department is responsible for, among other things, the provision of rural water infrastructure in rural areas which is a very important project for rural communities.
On Wednesday, Scopa was scheduled to meet with the National Treasury over the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) that has been widely reported to be irregular. The National Treasury has a responsibility to oversee compliance of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) by government departments and entities, and to annually develop regulations on financial management within government. It therefore cannot be the National Treasury that flouts the law on such an important programme as the IFMS.
Scopa has been informed that the Minister of Finance, Mr Malusi Gigaba and the Director-General of National Treasury Mr Dondo Mogajane, are out of the country and thus will be unable to attend. Scopa would want the most senior people responsible for the department to attend and explain why these irregularities happened. The National Treasury, just like the Auditor-General, assist Scopa in its work and therefore the Committee would not want a cloud to hang over the integrity of processes of the department. The meeting between Scopa and the National Treasury is also postponed to a later date.
Issued by Parliamentary Communication Services on behalf of The Chairperson of Scopa, Mr Themba Godi