SABCnews, 5 November 2003
According to SABCnews, a report from the Auditor General has revealed that more than R40mn of unspent donor funds allocated to government's Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) have been returned to the respective donor countries.This has prompted the Democratic Alliance (DA) to call for an investigation into the matter by SCOPA (the Standing Committee on Public Accounts).Pierre Rabie, acting finance spokesperson for the DA, lay the blame for the long-standing difficulties in spending donor funds on government bureaucracy and added that "it would be unforgivable if another year, along with the intervening election, went past without this matter being resolved." Go to SABCnews for more
In response, the Executive Director of the Human Science Research Council's (HSRC) Democracy and Governance Research Programme, Roger Southall, cautioned that "accessing donor funds by various government departments is not always without complications [and that] unless we know the details, we cannot always make sweeping judgements."Often donor funds come with conditions, which in some cases have to be dealt with by recipient government departments, Southhall said and added that government is making a concerted effort to speed up spending and delivery of RDP projects.
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