NEHAWU Limpopo Statement On Budget Underspending by Provincial Departments

NEHAWU Limpopo Statement On Budget Underspending by Provincial Departments

Thursday September 22, 2022

The National Education, Health and Allied Workers’ Union [NEHAWU] in Limpopo is flabbergasted by the continuous underspending of the provincial budget by departments especially when there is service delivery backlog.

As NEHAWU, we have noted with grave concern that some departments in the province continue to return allocated monies to provincial treasury because of their inability to spend those funds, despite glaring service delivery backlogs.

We have always warned that trimming of departments particularly at service points is tantamount to a ticking time bomb. Some of the failure to spend is as a result of shortage of staff. Our members are required to multi-task and this is a recipe for financial misconduct and audit query.

In the 2021/22 financial year, national treasury allocated R68.8 billion to the provincial government towards service delivery. The provincial government returned almost R2.1 billion to the fiscus.

This underspending has been highlighted in the Auditor-General’s annual reports and the following government departments were identified:

  • Office of the Premier – R16m (4%)
  • Agriculture – R98.7m (6%)
  • Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs – R474.1 million (20.1%);
  • Education – R523.3 million (1.5%);
  • Economic Development, Environment and Tourism – R8.4 million (0.5%)
  • Health – R570.5 million (2.4%);
  • Legislature – R45.1 million (10.5%);
  • Public Works, Roads and Infrastructure – R226.1 million (5.1%);
  • Sport, Arts and Culture – R53.9 million (10.5%)
  • Social Development – R72.4 million (3.1%);
  • Treasury – R14 million (3.8%);
  • Transport and Community Safety – R40.7 million (1.7%);

As NEHAWU, we are concerned about this conduct of underspending amidst all the service delivery challenges confronting the provinces which include shortage of staff, medicines and working tools, unmaintained roads, housing, electricity and water...etc. yet money is returned to Treasury.

Lastly, the union demands that there should be “consequence management” to Heads of Departments and their Chief Financial Officers who failed to play an oversight role and returned unspent funds to the fiscus. Equally, political heads of departments must not be spared from accounting.


Issued by NEHAWU Limpopo Secretariat Office
For more information, please contact: Moses Maubane [Provincial Secretary] 063 685 1884 or email: or
Jacob Adams [Provincial Deputy Secretary] at 082 558 5966 or email to

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