Mpumalanga provincial treasury MEC Sikhumbuzo Kholwane. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Mpumalanga provincial treasury MEC Sikhumbuzo Kholwane. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

Parliament’s select committee on finance has expressed concern over the poor performance in provincial education and health departments.

The committee was briefed by the National Treasury and the Mpumalanga provincial treasury on Tuesday on the preliminary outcomes of 2017-18 provincial expenditure‚ as at May 31.

"The committee noted with concern the overall fiscal risk pertaining to the education and health sectors‚ as well as high accruals‚" the committee’s chairperson, Charel de Beer, said.

"The committee agreed with National Treasury that skills capacity‚ particularly in project execution and planning, should be sought by departments to reduce underspending on certain spending items and conditional grants."

According to the committee‚ Mpumalanga has a record of unauthorised spending and underspending‚ "indicating that employees are not doing their jobs‚ which has serious implications for service delivery".

Mpumalanga provincial treasury MEC Sikhumbuzo Kholwane told the committee he was in talks with the department of health on the possibility of the provincial treasury taking over the department.

De Beer said: "In its presentation‚ the National Treasury said the provincial health department’s accumulated unauthorised expenditure increased to approximately R200m and irregular expenditure still awaiting condonation amounts to R6.7bn.

"Accumulated accruals in the provincial department of education increased to almost R327m and accumulated unauthorised expenditure increased to R705m.

"Accumulated accruals increased from R661m in 2015-16 to R1.3bn in 2017-18.

"The select committee is concerned by the overall poor performance in provincial departments of health and education‚ which has been raised in all the presentations from provincial treasuries. This is disturbing and unacceptable."

Parliament also heard yesterday that Mpumalanga’s health department has medical negligence claims against that amount to almost half its annual budget.

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