Consulting Engineers SA concern over rise in municipal expenditure

Consulting Engineers South Africa president Neresh Pather says member companies need to be vocal about corruption. Consulting Engineers South Africa is concerned about the 75percent increase in irregular municipal expenditure. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG – Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) is concerned about the 75percent increase in irregular municipal expenditure, from R16212billion in the previous year to R28376bn in the year under review, as reported in the recent auditor-general’s report.
While Cesa acknowledges the significant effort made by municipalities in 2016-17 to identify and transparently report on irregular expenditure incurred in previous years, the organisation believes that there still remains a lot to be done.
“We believe that the main reason for the increase in irregular expenditure is the continued non-compliance with supply chain management regulations and lack of consequences for mismanagement thereof,” cautioned Cesa chief executive Chris Campbell.
Cesa believes that the National Treasury’s Standard for Infrastructure Procurement and Delivery Management (SIPDM) is the model for infrastructure delivery that should be implemented by all spheres of the government to ensure compliance and adherence to best practice, but someone needs to take ownership and be accountable for it.
Since the adoption and implementation of this procurement system there is still no Infrastructure Directorate at the National Treasury taking ownership and accountability for the implementation and monitoring of compliance with this standard.
“There are no in-house infrastructure specialists in either the offices of the chief procurement officer or that of the auditor-general. The lack of appropriate skills in both these departments needs to be addressed urgently if the “value for money” consideration of an annual R300bn spent on infrastructure is to materialise.
This becomes all the more imperative with the significantly reduced budget available for infrastructure development,” concludes Campbell.
The SIPDM programme was designed to migrate the emphasis away from administration and focus on governance and leadership.