The Department of Basic Education has launched an investigation into how its flagship adult education programme registered R44.3-million in wasteful expenditure this financial year.
In 2014-15 the department’s Kha Ri Gude programme had only R28000 in wasteful spending.
The revelation is contained in the department’s annual report, tabled in parliament this week.
Kha Ri Gude received the Unesco Confucius Prize for Literacy at an awards ceremony in France a few weeks ago.
The programme, which was launched in February 2008, is aimed at teaching adults who missed out in their schooling years.
It has more than 41000 volunteers, the majority of whom are trained teachers.
Department spokesman Elijah Mhlanga said the campaign had benefit ed 4.7million adults across the country .
The department is investigating whether some teachers inflated invoices by submitting forms claiming they taught bigger classes, it said.
“The total amount paid for the duration of the classes has been disclosed as fruitless and wasteful expenditure pending the outcome of the investigation.”
It said the department appointed a company called SAB & T as an implementing agent to manage the Kha Ri Gude programme.
But the department failed to conduct a site visit before appointing the company, as required, it said.
“Based on this the management fee paid to the service provider was declared as irregular expenditure,” it said.
“In terms of our mandate, the auditor-general has to first table his report next month.
“Only then can we speak about the issues.
“The annual report belongs to the department,” spokesman for the auditor-general Africa Boso said.