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Government’s growing disregard of public funds fans calls for tax revolt

Following the release of the Auditor General’s report on the National and Provincial financial results this week, The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) believes the worsening trend in irregular expenditure is of serious concern and displays a growing neglect of the State’s role in serving the people.

The South African Government’s financial management of its peoples money has tracked negatively over the past two years from 22% in 2015, to 23% in 2016 and now 27% in 2017 when it comes to Government Audits which are either Qualified, Adverse, Disclaimed Audits with findings or are Outstanding.

“This is a serious concern to OUTA, as it signifies a Government which is lacking in discipline and financial hygiene when managing the public’s taxes,” says Wayne Duvenage, the Chairperson of the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse.

Adding fuel to the fire, is the extremely high growth in Irregular Expenditure displayed by the state, which is expected to be as high as R65bn once the outstanding department audits are in. This will signify an increase of 120% on last years figure of R29,4bn and 180% up on the R23,1bn irregular expenses of 2015. Irregular expenditure is the space where corruption and maladministration takes place and the growing trend signals a worsening trend in this regard.

“This alarming growth in irregular expenditure is a flagrant abuse of tax payers money and displays a Government that has adopted a very relaxed and careless attitude when it comes to wasting taxpayers hard earned money,” adds Duvenage. “According to the AG, the root causes of this grossly negative trend is due to the worsening situations of key position vacancies, a lack of competence and inadequate consequences for poor performance and transgressions”.

Add to this the problems of mismanagement within SARS and the fact that the President himself fails to honour the tax laws of this country, we are not surprised by the growing calls for a full blown tax revolt in South Africa, and this must now be seen as the biggest threat to the nations economic stability.

We call on Minister Gigaba to now exercise his duties as the guardian of South Africa’s financial matters by taking the strictest disciplinary action against all leadership who have allowed the irregular expenditure to balloon to the extent it has. Failing this, the Minister and those who abuse their authority will be held accountable by the people.
“OUTA will continue its fight to reintroduce accountability in Government and we will evaluate all the options available to address these issues thoroughly and responsibly.

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