Provincial governments are said to have returned R3.080 billion to the National Treasury after failing to spend their allocations over the past four financial years.

This was recently revealed by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni in a written response to a parliamentary question.

Mboweni said the provinces underspent R9.2bn allocated in conditional grants over the same period.

He added that underspending occurred mainly in the infrastructure-related components of the grants, including the school nutrition grant.

“Of the total R103bn available to provinces (including rollovers), provinces spent R99.4bn, resulting in an underspending of R3.5bn,” he said, adding that the figures were pre- audited and subject to change once the audit had been finalised.

He also said that during the 2018-19 financial year, roll-overs amounting to R2bn were approved and provinces surrendered R1.4bn back to the National Revenue Fund.

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