Reading the Auditor General’s report 2018-19 is not the way to finish off a week. It is a dismal tale of woe which adds another distressing layer to the state capture saga. What is truly distressing is that this information is in plain sight and very little is done from one year to the next. The Citizens version candidly spells it out: “overall audit outcomes take a turn for the worse over five years.” For me, it is much clearer that the boffins’ version of the report which sugar coats the message as “audit outcomes regressed since 2014/15.”

Provincial departments of health are in a bad state and need urgent intervention to prevent collapse. An exception is the Western Cape.

Key findings

  • Audit outcomes regressed since 2014/15. (Executive summary)
  • Serious weaknesses in the financial management of national & provincial government unaddressed in the last five years. (Section 4)
  • The quality of the performance reports slightly regressed since 2014/15 from 66% to 62% (auditees publishing credible reports).
  • Little improvement on key government programmes according to the National Development Plan Section 6
    district health services (HIV/AIDS, TB &maternal & child health) box below
    water infrastructure development,
    housing development finance,
    school infrastructure delivery
    expanded public works programme.
  • 72% of the auditees materially did not comply with legislation similar to the previous year & slightly higher than the 70% in 2014/15.
  • Compliance with supply chain management legislation slightly improved ( Section 7)

What does this mean for National Health Insurance Bill and sweeping changes needed for the financing of health care? The National Department of Health is not among those that received a clean (unqualified) audit.