AfriForum lays charge: Health departments waste more than R10 billion


AfriForum lays charge: Health departments waste more than R10 billion
AfriForum lays charge: Health departments waste more than R10 billion. Photo: AfriForum

AfriForum launched its national campaign against misappropriation of taxpayers’ money in the health sector today, 5 November 2018. As part of this campaign, AfriForum will visit all nine provinces in the next week, during which criminal charges will be laid against nine heads of the Provincial Departments of Health in terms of Section 86(1) of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act No. 1 of 1999).

These nine departments were all guilty of irregular, fruitless, wasteful and unauthorised expenditure, altogether wasting over R10 billion during the 2016/2017 financial year. This information was obtained from the annual reports of the departments.

The first charges were submitted against the current Gauteng Head of the Department of Health, Mkhululi Lukhele, who misappropriated R1,3 billion in the 2017/2018 financial year. This is additional to the department’s irregular expenditures amounting to R1,8 billion in the 2016/2017 financial year.

“AfriForum is of the opinion that the misuse of taxpayers’ money is a national crisis. It is time for taxpayers to put pressure on the National Prosecuting Authority to make examples of heads of departments who do not fulfil their duties as prescribed by the Act. They are some of the biggest perpetrators in the misuse of taxpayers’ money,” says Monique Taute, AfriForum Head of Campaigns.

The charges against the heads of departments are based on their alleged financial misuse in terms of the Act. “They must prevent irregular, unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure and hold guilty parties accountable. Moreover, the heads of departments are required to keep complete records of their departments’ financial affairs in terms of prescribed legislation, norms and standards. It is however evident from the departments’ annual reports that these responsibilities are not fulfilled at all,” says Wico Swanepoel, AfriForum Legal Advisor on Local Corruption Affairs.

AfriForum wants to encourage the public to apply the necessary pressure on the National Prosecuting Authority by sending an SMS with their name to 45344 (R1) or by signing the charges on AfriForum stop corruption website.

Read the original article in Afrikaans on AfriForum

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