My office door is open to address any questions on the AG report
By Tertuis Simmers – Provincial Minister of Infrastructure
The Auditor General’s unmodified opinion confirmed that the financial statements of the Western Cape Department of Human Settlements (WCDoHS) were presented fairly, in all material aspects. This ensured that the Department received an unqualified audit outcome with immaterial findings. The AG’s audit opinion stated that the Department of Human Settlements was in good standing, however it had minor shortcomings in relation to certain internal procedures and controls. One such procedure related to the disbursement of the Finance Individual Linked Subsidy (FLISP).
In processing the subsidy applications, there was a misinterpretation of the national housing code, as to what constitutes gross income in the calculation of a subsidy. This was due to, the national housing code, not being clear on the practical application thereof, at the time. Given the ambiguity of the Housing Code, the department will engage the National Department of Human Settlement to seek clarity and request for certain aspects of the Housing Code to be revised to ensure that this matter is curtailed.
The lack of clarity in the national housing code is based on the commissions and allowances that are received irregularly and these are not always reflected on a beneficiary’s payslip which is presented on the application. The subsidy calculator on the Housing Subsidy System then calculates an amount based on what is included. It is only upon further request for information from applicants that one finds that not all commissions were included. This resulted in the larger subsidy being calculated by the Housing Subsidy System and ultimately disbursed by various financial institutions. These subsidies were not disbursed directly to individuals.
The department has also undertaken to ensure that the officials tasked with calculating and disbursing the subsidies will be re-trained and coached into ensuring that these miscalculations do not occur once again.
I have been transparent from the onset of this matter across all platforms and once again, welcome all enquiries aimed at understanding the matter to reach out to my office. All the necessary documentation will be readily provided.
Mr. Graig-Lee Smith
Spokesperson for Minister Tertuis Simmers
Tel: 021 483 5224
Mobile: 066 396 8382
Director Communication & Stakeholder Relations
Tell: 021 483 2868
Mobile: 083 263 1720