Limpopo, EC stabilising - Zuma

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma says governance is beginning to stabilse in both the Eastern Cape and Limpopo after national government intervention in the administration of the two provinces.

Last year, Cabinet decided to intervene in the Eastern Cape Education Department in terms of section 100(1)(b) of the Constitution of the Republic. The department was placed under administration after it emerged that the department was facing major challenges.

Zuma said a team of deputy ministers visited the Eastern Cape to conduct a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation exercise on the implementation of the intervention, and a report was tabled at Cabinet.

"Cabinet directed a full implementation of the intervention as intended by the Constitution. There is now a clear understanding and acceptance of the intervention in the Eastern Cape," Zuma said during a reply to parliamentary questions on Tuesday.

He said task teams, focusing on the main areas of the intervention to the extent necessary, had been established, and these teams were about to finalise their work plans.

"We are confident that this time around, we will be able to stabilise and normalise the Eastern Cape Education Department, while ensuring that the right of the children of the Eastern Cape to quality basic education is upheld at all times," Zuma said.

As of 31 March, Limpopo's cash position had improved with a positive year-end balance of R231.4 million.

"This positive cash position is due to cash management controls that were put in place since December 2011," he said.

At the time of the Limpopo intervention, there was an estimated R2 billion shortfall as a result of a combination of factors, including an accumulation of unauthorised expenditure and poor cash flow management practices. Five departments were placed under administration.

Zuma said while the cash position had improved and payment and procurement systems in departments stabilised, further work still needed to be done.

"The Provincial Treasury intervention team has instructed all departments to develop a fiscal recovery plan that must include strengthening departmental budget formulation processes and supply chain management."

Law enforcement agencies were looking into allegations of fraud, maladministration and corruption in a number of departments.

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