Masondo warns govt should use own data, analysis to curb spending

Speaking at the government spending reviews conference on Thursday, deputy finance minister shared an example of how analysis had shown that 60% of the building leases of national departments were above current market rates.

Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo. Picture: @TreasuryRSA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – Deputy Finance Minister David Masondo said that if government was going to spend its scarce resources, a much better understanding of how monies were spent was needed.

Masondo addressed the government spending reviews conference on Thursday, where he explained that government needed to get its financial house in order to avoid a deeper crisis.

He added that finding out where all the money went would be through crunching a lot of numbers and not by "telling stories and making nice documents".

The deputy minister shared an example of how analysis had shown that 60% of the building leases of national departments were above current market rates, and the average premium being paid on these was about 45%.

He was stressing the importance of learning from their own databases by applying analytical skills.

Masondo said that of the R3 billion that was being paid to lease office accommodation in 2015, R750 million might have been saved if rent was market-related.

“The bottom line is that to get out of this very tough situation, we are going to have to spend less than we probably want to spend to respond to all the social and developmental needs we have. That’s the only way to avoid the crisis.”

He emphasised that if government was to succeed in the task of building a state that could deliver, and perform sustainably, officials had to become increasingly strategic and innovative in what they prioritised and deprioritised.

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