South Africa News

NW government denies reports it will return R17 billion back to Treasury

The North West provincial government has dismissed media reports that it will return R17 billion in the unspent budget to National Treasury.

A local publication reported at the weekend that the provincial government was on the verge of giving back R17 billion of a total combined budget of R57.4 billion to Treasury because its departments were unable to spend the money.

This was despite the North West having one of the worst service delivery records in the country.

The spokesperson for the North West Treasury, Kesalopa Gill, on Sunday rubbished a local publication report, describing it as misleading and “completely devoid of the truth”.

Gill said the reported amount of R17 billion was misleading because the province had registered an expenditure of R47.2 billion from the R48.7 billion that was allocated to it, as per the adjusted budget for the 2021-22 financial year.

“As per the provincial preliminary expenditure report dated 31st March 2022 which has been compiled by the Provincial Treasury, an amount of R48.7 billion was allocated to the province as per the adjusted budget for 2021-22 financial year.

“Based on that report, which covers provincial departments inclusive of the provincial legislature, the province has registered an actual expenditure of R47.2 billion, translating to 96.84% of the adjusted budget,” Gill said in a statement.

The provincial Treasury said the actual expenditure of R47.2 billion excluded accruals for the period ending March 2022, which were being verified and would be processed as part of the rollovers.

“The same report we’ll be serving before the director-general, administrators, and head of departments meeting scheduled for Monday, 4 April 2022 as part of continuous measures implemented by the executive council (EXCO) to monitor expenditure performance including the impact of such expenditure on service delivery.”

Gill accused a local publication of attempting to depict the provincial government led by Premier Bushy Maape as an irresponsible government.

“The reporter has not taken efforts to verify facts with the province and this is viewed by the provincial administration as an attempt to damage the image of the province and cast aspersions on service delivery efforts led by Premier Maape supported by the entire EXCO.”

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