Government says dodgy IT systems are causing it to leak money

The Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) has identified a number of ‘leaks’  in the cost of public administration which has led to the loss of millions of rands.

DPSA minister Senzo Mchunu said in a presentation on Monday (9 December), that these leaks are ‘untenable’ and that government is now entering a period of cost containment.

“We are in a period that requires us to make difficult and complex decisions above our own in the national interest,” Mchunu said.

“Government is operating in an ever more complex and demanding environment, more so with regards to the fiscus. We are facing increasingly interdependent problems and are having to adjust to both the challenges as they present themselves.  Our approach to addressing the national budget and deficit has to be collective in nature, whilst adopting a holistic approach that yields substantial and coherent gains that are sustainable over time.”

Below Mchunu identified the biggest leaks and how his department plans to address them.

IT Systems

“As the state, we have neither optimally leveraged growth and advances in technology, nor economies of scale cohesively and effectively – resulting in government lagging in ICT and not procuring and developing systems in a fragmented manner that increases costs, duplications development times,” said Mchunu.

Unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure

As identified by the Auditor General South Africa (AGSA), unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure is not abating and that there is very little consequence management.

“We will be engaging with the AGSA, National Treasury and the relevant Executive to investigate each case and charge the implicated officials and service providers. Efforts must also be made to recover all monies,” said Mchunu.


Some government institutions are engaging in intergovernmental litigation and wasteful or unnecessary litigation, which adds to government expenditure.

Mchunu said that the state is also losing money through litigation, especially in the following sectors:

  • Health: through medico-legal claims;
  • Security: Wrongful detention, death in detention, shooting and motor vehicle accidents;
  • Home Affairs: Civil rights related to citizenship, identity and immigration.

Government leases, rentals, maintenance and refurbishment

Mchunu said there is room to contain spending by reducing rental and other costs while improving the state and condition of our buildings.

“We also have a responsibility to restore confidence in the public by employing public servants with impeccable record of good governance since they are entrusted with managing public finances,” he said.

“It is against this background that I have since written to the Premier of the Eastern Cape, Mr Oscar Mabuyane, to consider the legal implications of appointing a head of department in the province who was dismissed as Deputy Director-General from the National Department.”

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Government says dodgy IT systems are causing it to leak money