Solly Msimanga

Mayor of Tshwane, Solly Msimanga. (Gallo Images)

Auditor General report reveals City of Tshwane splashed almost R2 billion on ‘unauthorized expenditure’

And yet I can’t spend more than R100 on brunch without the bank asking questions….

Solly Msimanga

Mayor of Tshwane, Solly Msimanga. (Gallo Images)

The report has analysed the tax year of 2015/16 and pinpoints money spent on local elections as a key factor in the spending splurge.

In fact, unauthorised spending by the municipality has risen from R786 million in 2014/15 to the R1.9 billion figure posted this week.

Local government audit outcomes released in Pretoria show that most of the expenditure came from overspending on numerous projects – 43% of this figure is related to ‘non-cash items’.

The region has rushed to defend itself, and Wits University School of Governance Professor Susan Booysen blamed an increase in storms, fires, and natural disasters as the main drain on public funds.

She did, however, concede that the campaigns for local elections did effect Tshwane’s budgeting, saying that the money could have been spent on ‘showing people that government was working’.

Read: AG report – irregular expenditure nears R17bn, only nine out of 263 municipalities record clean audit

Tshwane’s DA mayor Solly Msimanga – who won the right to govern the region from the ANC in 2016 – also pointed to an abnormally high amount of legal cases where the municipality has been the defendant and repeatedly asked to fork out millions in labour or employment cases.

Suspensions, unfair dismissals, expropriations and breaches of contracts have all been blamed for a liability bill of R226 million for Tshwane. But even then, that only accounts for around 12% of the total expenditure bill.

The rest, according to the A-G’s report‚  is divided between employee-related cost‚ debt impairment‚ depreciation‚ finance charges‚ contracted services‚ transfers and grants‚ losses on the disposal of property and plant equipment.

Tshwane mayoral spokesperson‚ Samkelo Mgobozi‚ said they did expect the unauthorised expenditure figure to be around R1.8-billion but claimed they ‘have not seen the report.’

Only nine municipalities out of 263 recorded a clean audit score for 2015/16, as unauthorised expenditure in South Africa reached a total of R12.77 billion; a figure which includes Tshwane’s spending spree.