EFF labels Mboweni ‘incompetent’ over failure to submit Treasury statements to Parliament

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. Picture: ANA

The finance minister on Thursday asked Parliament for an additional extension, citing a dispute with the Office of the Auditor-General (AG) for the delay, among other reasons.

The Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) on Friday condemned Finance Minister Tito Mboweni for failing to submit National Treasury’s annual financial statements to Parliament, with the party calling on the minister to submit the documents immediately.

This after Mboweni on Thursday asked Parliament for an additional extension, citing a dispute with the Office of the Auditor-General (AG) for the delay, among other reasons, in a letter to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise.

The EFF on Friday accused Mboweni of incompetence and said Treasury should not use the AG as a scapegoat for incompetence, adding that failure to submit the documents was a sign that that the ministry could not be trusted.

The party said the minister had written to Modise on 15 December last year, giving reasons on why he failed to account. And according to the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), Mboweni is required to provide reasons for not submitting the statements to Parliament within the stipulated time.

“The minister’s reasons in this regard are neither sound nor acceptable, and it is another illustration of sheer incompetence on the part of the minister and the whole government,” said EFF national spokesperson Vuyani Pambo.

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The Red Berets said since Mboweni’s appointment in 2018, the minister had on countless occasions displayed his “nonchalant attitude and approach” to the work of his department.

“The failure to submit consolidated financial statements is but one of many incompetent displays that have come to characterise the Finance Ministry and National Treasury,” the EFF said.

The party accused Mboweni of failing to act on his comment to establish a state-owned bank, sovereign wealth fund, and to come up with an economic policy to revive the country’s fortunes.

“Entities that report to Mboweni are dysfunctional, particularly the Land Bank. The Public Investment Corporation continues to function under an interim board while the Public Investment Corporation Amendment Bill sits in the president’s desk unsigned.”

The EFF also said it was troubled by National Treasury’s “growing tendency of secrecy” and criticised the ministry for not briefing Parliament on funding for the country’s Covid-19 vaccination programme.

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