The University of Pretoria (UP) played host to a public lecture by the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA), Mr Thembekile Kimi Makwetu, who spoke on the state of public finance in South Africa.
The AGSA listed the challenges affecting state spending, such as over-expenditure and irregular expenditure. He also indicated that poor financial management and low levels of compliance were issues affecting various departments.
He believes that multidisciplinary institutions of higher education like UP are key strategic partners of government and other public institutions and that they have a role to play in ‘the training and continuous development of staff in up-to-date industry and professional networks. UP must [attend to] … this challenge and strive for access to its programmes by many senior and middle management professionals in the public sector of South Africa. This can help expand the horizon … [and create] a far better and efficient culture of managing public resources in South Africa. Such an advantage could also embrace other critical functional and strategic leadership institutions that could [ensure] … a better outcome for all [South Africans].’
The office of the AGSA reports on financial management in the public sector in an effort to hold the spenders of public funds, for instance parliamentary executives, increasingly accountable for expenditure. In order to achieve transparent governance the assistance of the public is required.