Parliament, Wednesday, 11 March 2020 – The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) believes there is a need to engage in a process to amend S65 (2) of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). This section needs to be tightened, as the examples of the Department of Water and Sanitation and South African Airways (SAA) are proof that this clause can be open to abuse.
Scopa has also raised concerns about the treaty between South Africa and Lesotho on the Lesotho Highlands Water Commission (LHWC). The PFMA cannot play second fiddle, as it is the cornerstone of accountability and oversight. If there are treaties that are inconsistent with the PFMA, they must be updated so that they are in compliance with this Act. In the review that the department is conducting in relation to the treaty with Lesotho, the committee expects that it will prioritise adherence to the PFMA as crucial when managing financials.
Scopa believes that the vacancies in the LHWC, as a result of resignations and retirement from the South African side, should be filled as soon as possible to prevent a collapse of that structure. The committee also expects an update from the department by 11 May 2020 on the filling of the CFO position in the department.
The committee has been assured by the department that it will table the outstanding 2018/2019 annual report and financial statements for both Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority and the department by 20 March 2020. The department also made a commitment that going forward they will stick to the August 2020 deadline for the 2019/2020 report deadline.
ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF SCOPA, MR MKHULEKO HLENGWA.
For media enquiries, please contact the committee’s Media Officer:
Name: Ms Faith Ndenze
Parliamentary Communication Services
Tel: 021 403 8062
Cell: 081 377 0686
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