Govt misusing tax payer's money – NEHAWU

Union says issue is exacerbated by fact that Zuma knows those who are stealing from country yet does nothing

NEHAWU worried about the spending patterns of our government 

29 November 2016

The National Education Health & Allied Workers Union [NEHAWU] is extremely worried about the spending patterns of the current administration.

The report of the Auditor-General on the spending of both the National and Provincial department audits and the Statistics-SA Financial Statistics of Consolidated General Government for the 2014/15 fiscal year paints a bleak picture of how tax payer’s money is misused.

According to the report released by the Auditor-General on November 16, 2016 irregular expenditure by our government has increased by almost 40% since 2013/14 to R46‚36-billion. The report of the Auditor-General singled out the continued non-compliance with supply chain management legislation as the main reason for the increase in irregular expenditure.

Throughout the years NEHAWU has continuously called for both immediate and stringent measures to be put in place in the procurement process that are derived from the constitutional requirements of supply chain management as set out in section 217 of the Constitution. The flouting of constitutional provisions cannot continue unabated while those tasked with dispensing service delivery are pre-occupied with misusing public funds that are meant to contribute to the betterment of lives of the working class and the poor.

According to a report released by Statistics-SA on the Financial Statistics of Consolidated General Government on Thursday our Government is spending more money on paying its employees than providing goods and basic services in the country’s economy. The report shows that government spending on compensation of employees increased by over R40-billion from R473-billion in 2013/14 fiscal year to R514-billion in the 2014/15 fiscal year.

The report which contains statistics on the South African government’s income and expenditure for the financial year ended 31 March 2015 shows that government spends more on paying salaries than on the R159-billion it spends on social benefits. This further proves that governments spending priorities are not in tune with the needs and aspirations of our people.

It is for these reasons that last week we supported the call by the Independent Commission for the Remuneration for Public Office for officials not to get a salary increase. It baffles us that 49% of government spending is directed to paying salaries while a meagre 51% is directed to funding the provision of goods and services. This further necessitates the re-opening of the debate on the downsizing of our bloated cabinet and administration.

We call for more resource to be redirected towards funding both higher and basic education, implementation of the National Health Insurance [NHI], improve sanitation and the supply of clean water, research and investment into alternative energy and infrastructure development. Again we would like to highlight that our people are not blind to these wasteful expenditures and that should the status quo not change we will find it difficult to convince our people to vote for the African National Congress [ANC] come the General Elections in 2019.

All these issues are exacerbated by the fact that we have a President who knows those who are stealing from the government yet nothing is done to bring them to book. We can't have a government that is haemorrhaging money into pockets of looters instead of uplifting the lives of the working class and the poor.

It is for these reasons that in our NEC statement last month we said that this administration has become untenable. We call on the President to name those he knows for sure that they are thieves and punitive steps must be taken as a matter of urgency.

Issued by Khaya Xaba, Media Liaison Officer, NEHAWU, 29 November 2016