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Northern Cape Provincial Audit Outcomes

Statement by the Premier, Ms Sylvia Lucas on The Northern Cape Provincial Audit Outcomes for the year ended 31 March 2014

It gives me great pleasure to announce the audit outcomes of the Northern Cape Provincial Government for the year ended 31 March 2014. This year the performance of provincial departments is exceptional and it prides me as the leader of this provincial government to boldly say that the province is definitely moving in the right direction in terms of managing its financial affairs and output on service delivery.

Last year this time, we committed ourselves to improved transparency and accountability to the people of the Northern Cape by obtaining better audit results for the 2013/14 financial year.  We indicated that as the Northern Cape government we will ensure that the financial affairs of government are in order and fairly accounted for by departments and provincial public entities.

Indeed the milestone is reached.  Ten out of 13 (77%) departments received unqualified audit opinions with four having reached the 2014 milestone of clean audits namely, the Department of Social development, the Department of Environment and Nature Conservation, and the two departments that are led by the MEC for finance, i.e. Provincial Treasury and the Department of Economic Development and Tourism. This is a major improvement when compared to 2011/12 outcomes where the province had no clean reports, four unqualified reports and 8 qualifications and one disclaimer.

I would like to applaud these departments for all their hard work and efforts in ensuring that we remain an accountable government that can be trusted with the taxpayers’ monies. All departments that are mandated the responsibility to oversee municipalities and departments have clearly indicated that they will lead by example when it comes to prudent management of finances as all have been unqualified.  The improvement is welcomed.

We are still standing firm about not regressing and no department for the second year in a row has been disclaimed.  Only three departments received qualified audit opinions.  What this means is that the auditors found the financial statements to be fairly presented except on certain issues. This remains a concern for this provincial government especially since the Department of Health and Education are taking a substantial amount of the provincial budget. We need to know what is preventing the achievement of favourable audit outcomes and put controls to address it as soon as possible. The root causes must be dealt with once and for all and hold the people responsible accountable. Consequences will follow especially where there is stagnation and no improvement.  However we are satisfied with the progress that has been made this far as the auditor general has indicated that there are some short comings that still need to be addressed and we believe that this is something that as a collective will work towards correcting.

Two of the 10 public entities have received unqualified audit opinions, namely, The Gambling Board and The Liquor Board. The William Humphreys Art Gallery, the Northern Cape Tourism Authority as well the McGregor Museum received clean audits. We still have four that have been qualified and one disclaimer. Managing a public entity and a department are two different things. It is much easier to run a public entity than a department. It is unacceptable that public entities have qualified and disclaimed audit opinions.

We have really made good strides as a Province and we will continue to work towards improvements in delivering good and quality services to the people of the Northern Cape within the confines of the financial management prescripts and ensure transparency and better accountability.

Released by the Office of the Premier


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