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Weak systems led to Covid-19 service delivery failures

More could have been achieved if relief funds and initiatives had been managed better: Auditor-General.
AG Tsakani Maluleke. Image: Brand South Africa

Auditor-General (AG) Tsakani Maluleke says deficiencies in government’s supply chain processes compromised the implementation of the various Covid-19 related programmes.

Maluleke released the second report into the Covid-19 relief funds audit on Wednesday, saying more could have been achieved if the “funds and related initiatives had been managed better”.

She said her office had raised “red flags” over the difficulty in finding credible and reliable databases that are appropriately integrated across various government departments and their entities. The lack of credible and reliable integration of data across different government platforms resulted in people receiving benefits and grants to which they were not entitled.

The report also found that some of the Covid-19 initiatives did not achieve their desired results and had to be abandoned because of “failed coordination, monitoring and relationships across the three spheres of government”.

Empty tanks

For example, around 16% of the water tanks installed by Rand Water in Limpopo, North West and Gauteng during July and August were empty. The initiative to provide the tanks was part of the Water and Sanitation Department’s programme to temporarily supply water tanks – filled with water – in an effort to help curb the spread of Covid-19.

In the Free State, Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape 45% of the water tanks that were deployed did not have unique identification numbers to confirm that they were Covid-19-related tanks.

Some of these tanks had been redeployed to other areas, according to Rand Water – but without the identification number, the AG’s office was unable to verify the completeness of the inventory list.

Over 8 000 water tanks were delivered to various municipalities across the country.

Maluleke highlighted the water tanks example as one where pre-existing weaknesses within departments and their entities impacted negatively on the implementation of Covid-19 programmes.

After the outbreak of the coronavirus in South Africa, the government announced a R500 billion social and economic relief package. The AG’s office has been tasked by President Cyril Ramaphosa to conduct an audit of the management of R147.4 billion of the funds made available for these initiatives.

By the end of September R95.84 billion (65%) of the funds had been spent by the various government departments on Covid-19 initiatives.

Releasing the first report three months ago, former AG the late Kimi Makwetu said the funds that had been earmarked by the government had landed in a “weak control environment” where leakages of funds were easily conducted.

Read: Makwetu flags UIF Ters/Sassa benefits paid to government officials

Maluleke echoed Makwetu’s words, saying pre-existing issues such as poor record-keeping by government departments and the mismanagement of funds continue to compromise the roll out of the Covid-19 initiatives.

Some improvement

Maluleke however added that her office has seen an improvement in implementation since the release of the audit, as “ most accounting officers and executive authorities took action to address our findings, implement the recommendations and, in some cases, even took disciplinary steps”.

In the first report, the AG’s office flagged some payments made for the Unemployment Insurance Fund’s (UIF’s) Covid-19 Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (Ters) and recommended that a high number of payments be recommended for investigation.

These included payouts to people who are below the legal age of employment and others who were deceased, working in government, receiving social grants, or receiving other UIF benefits.

Read: Covid-19 procurement a crime scene, but does law enforcement have capacity?

By October , the UIF had successfully recovered R3.4 billion of the incorrectly-disbursed funds.

“Progress has been made in addressing the previously identified system weaknesses, such as a lack of validations and incorrect calculation. However, since most of these enhancements were made during September, we still identified payments that will need to be investigated, although there are far fewer,” Maluleke said.

As for the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa), the AG found that some beneficiaries were still receiving the special Covid-19 unemployment grant, despite there being evidence that they were receiving funds from other sources.

As at the end of August, said the AG, 67 770 beneficiaries potentially received income from these sources, which represents 0.32% of the approved applications.

She noted that 1 513 beneficiaries are directors of companies that have government contracts.

Maluleke said that Sassa has flagged all irregular beneficiaries, and investigations into the matter are currently being conducted.

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Lady, the systems were designed by the corrupt who had intentions to loot.

“Weak systems led to Covid-19 service delivery failures”

Allow me to rephrase your heading if you don’t mind!

“Weak GOVERNMENT led to Covid-19 service delivery failures”

Best example ever, look at the SARS “super computer”, it can determine where every Rand went to, but it could not detect the river of tax payer money flowing to Dubai or Pakistan.

This is not only a failure to implement systems, this is a total absence of systems, an absence of leadership accountability, and an absence of skills on the execution level. Sadly, this is entirely predictable, and we can predict that this kind of shameful disaster will accompany the ANC everywhere it goes. This is merely the covid version of the Life Esidimeni disaster, the neglect of farm animals by Thandi Modise, the neglect of the horses at the Police and Army Equestrian Centres, the healthcare disaster at many public hospitals and the implosion of service delivery at most municipalities. These terrible disasters are inherent to the ANC’s operational model. This is the DNA of the ANC.

The revolutionary organisation got rid of the skilled and experienced state official and replaced him with a pliant cadre. A cadre is, per definition, a mindless deployee who does not have any skills or experience but acts on the instructions of the political deployer. The deployer is a mindless politician without any management- business- or accounting skills. This leader does not even have any business or military-type command and management skills. So, here we have a mindless and clueless government official following a mindless political leader without any structure or person to guide him. What will any mindless person of inferior cognitive ability and low moral fibre do if R10 000 cash lands upon his desk under such circumstances of total system failure and unaccountability? He will take the money and say it was not him.

Intelligent individuals with superior moral fibre and skills will never be deployed as a cadre. Such a person has a personality and opinion that threatens and intimidates the mindless leader. Socialist leaders only deploy pliant people who are more morally bankrupt and more stupid than they are. The system of central planning selects for failure by allowing clueless politicians to appoint even more clueless cadres to manage crucial institutions.

Now for the good news. It is exactly this phenomenon that brought the mighty USSR to its knees. Central Planning bankrupted Russia, and the Chernobyl Disaster marked the final implosion. Every SOE, most state hospitals, every government department, and 80% of municipalities are our Chernobyl Disaster. Eskom is our Chernobyl, and in the same way, Russia recovered to build an excellent economy, we can recover when the implosion of Eskom takes all of Luthuli House with it.

Bad news for the racists who say “I told you so”. This is not a race issue at all, because this happens in every socialist central planning country. This is a systems and incentives issue. That gives us hope for the future.

The only strong capability of this government is criminality !!!

Another mealy mouthed avoidance of the truth by an ANC lickspittle. It was none of the things she waffles about; just plain, planned, widespread and open corruption by the ANC regime.

The present government was handed over a fully functional administration by the old Nat government with all the checks and balances in place to ensure the smooth running of the country. Clearly, this was all thrown out of the window with all the capable people that knew the systems. It should not surprise anyone that the whole country is in the mess that it is.

Not only administration but a whole functional country and they did what terrorists do best __ Stuff it up !!!

This lady has provided a useless comment

End of comments.

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