Limpopo's finances under control

Friday, May 18, 2012

Pretoria - Limpopo's finances are under control and the province's cash position has improved, says Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

Gordhan, who presented the National Treasury's Budget Vote in Parliament on Friday, said interventions that had been implemented in December 2011, had been successful.

"The provincial finances are under control and the cash position has improved with a positive year-end balance due to cash management controls that have been put in place since the start of the intervention," explained the Minister.

Gordhan had earlier said national government had to take emergency measures towards the end of last year after it became apparent that the province was bankrupt. It also became clear that the province would not be able to pay teachers, doctors, social workers and other public sector employees.

"Whilst the cash position has improved and payment and procurement systems in departments have stabilised, further work still needs to be done. The departments under administration are developing recovery programmes which will form an integral part of a comprehensive plan for implementation in the short, medium to long term period," he told Parliamentarians.

"The law enforcement processes and other forensic investigations are under way in ensuring that any wrong doing is identified and necessary action taken against individuals involved. In sum, there has been good progress, but there is more to be done," the minister said.

Meanwhile, Gordhan said several programmes and reform initiatives of government will be reviewed to establish their value for money, effectiveness and impact.

These programmes include public remuneration trends, the implication of the Defence Review and water sector expenditure and pricing, among others.

"Our support for provincial budgeting and expenditure control has already brought excellent results in both better budgeting and more effective financial management, and will continue this year. Part of the effort is targeted at rooting out corruption and fraud, but we have also found that lapses in financial management often result from weak systems and inadequate training of officials.

"The necessary reforms need to be undertaken more systematically, and will be the focus of the work of the Budget Council this year," said the minister.