Public Protector Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane has credited her staff for the rave reviews her office got from the Auditor-General.
In a statement on Wednesday, Mkhwebane said her office’s management and their respective teams “have outdone themselves” given the “extremely difficult conditions” they work under.
“As an integrity institution, we are held to a higher standard than the average organ of state. We must lead by example,” she said.
Unqualified audit opinion
Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu gave Public Protector’s office an unqualified audit opinion for the 2018/2019 financial year.
He also praised the office for reducing irregular expenditure by R16 million while incurring no new irregularities.
Furthermore, the office had a surplus of R19.2 million, a vast improvement from the R19.1 deficit posted in 2017/2018.
Fruitless expenditure also declined from R1.4 million to just R2,400. The office further paid invoices for supplies within 20 days on average, Makwetu found.
‘More work at grassroots’
In her statement, Mkhwebane said her office still needs to do more work to reach the grassroots “to positively impact the lives of ordinary people.”
She said ordinary citizens see her office as “the only avenue through which they can hold their elected leaders to account while vindicating their rights.”
Mkhwebane has been on an extensive tour across the country over the past few weeks as part of the Public Protector roadshow 2019.
She has already visited parts of Gauteng, Northern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal, and is set to visit Western Cape next week.
Mkhwebane will present the Auditor-General’s report to Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on 18 October, she added.
She will be accompanied by Deputy Public Protector Kevin Malunga and other senior officials from her office.