Politics

More than R3bn in infrastructure funding returned

More than R3bn in infrastructure funding returned

Johannesburg - Provincially governments have returned a whopping R3.080billion to the National Treasury after failing to spend their allocations over the past four financial years.

This was recently revealed by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni in a written response to a parliamentary question from the DA’s Alf Lees.

Mboweni said the provinces underspent R9.2bn allocated in conditional grants over the same period.

He said underspending occurred mainly in the infrastructure-related components of the grants, including the school nutrition grant.

In virtually all the underspending that was recorded, supply chain and planning delays, capacity constraints and poor workmanship were blamed.

Mboweni said in 2018-19, provinces were allocated R100.3bn, and R9 million was not transferred to provinces.

“Of the total R103bn available to provinces (including rollovers), provinces spent R99.4bn, resulting in an underspending of R3.5bn,” he said, adding that the figures were pre- audited and subject to change once the audit had been finalised.

He also said that during the 2018-19 financial year, roll-overs amounting to R2bn were approved and provinces surrendered R1.4bn back to the National Revenue Fund.

“Of the total of R98.5bn available to provinces (including roll-overs), provinces spent R96.3bn, resulting in an underspending of R2.2bn,” Mboweni said.

In the 2017-18 period, according to Mboweni, provinces were allocated R96.7bn, of which R38m was not transferred to provinces.

He also said roll-overs amounting to R1.4bn were approved and provinces surrendered R755m back to the National Revenue Fund.

The minister also said in 2015-16 provinces were allocated R85.3bn and R276m was not transferred to provinces. He said of the total of R86.6bn available to provinces during that year, they spent R85.3bn, resulting in an underspending of R1.3bn.

Political Bureau