THESE are SA government’s WORST over-spenders

New information has come to light about SA government’s worst over-spenders. As Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana prepares for his 1 November 2023 Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS), he must also come to terms with these SA government departments who are over-spending by the billions.


SA parliament building. Picture: File.

If the worry of unclaimed SASSA SRD grants payments and tax revenue shortfalls wasn’t enough, there’s now proof rampant overspending that must be accounted for. A new National Treasury report claims that several national departments have racked up over R18.5-billion in unauthorised spending since 2005, says Business Tech. So, who are SA government’s worst over-spenders?

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13 different departments were guilty of unauthorised spending since 2005, according to the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. The Department of Social Development (DSD) is responsible for a large portion of it, R15.1 billion. This can be attributed to the declaration of a National State of Disaster during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. And the implementation of the controversial SASSA SRD grants.


The Department of Transport has overspent by R1.34 billion. Picture: File.

The next biggest offender is the Department of Transport, which overspent by R1.34 billion between 2013 and 2016. This money went towards launching the e-NATIS online portal, specifically its development, operation and maintenance. Money to pay for e-NATIS was supposed to be collected by the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) but challenges faced by the service provider resulted in the RTMC making zero payments since 2012.

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Notable in the list of SA government’s worst over-spenders is the Department of Water and Sanitation, with R686 million in the red. This spending relates to its bucket-eradication program and ‘war on leaks’ and has been blamed on “weak governance and internal control at the department.”

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Next on SA government’s worst over-spenders is R120 million from Stats SA, which had its budget cut but still proceeded to overspend. And, finally, the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) which overspent by R3.7 million with a state funeral of former president Nelson Mandela back in 2013/2014.


Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana. Picture: File.

The money owed by SA government’s worst over-spenders can be recovered through budget cuts, or charged against the National Revenue Fund. In terms of South Africa’s finance laws, this over-spending cannot be ignored and has to be recovered.

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