Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs Edna Molowa has received an award ofr ensuring a clean audit of her department in the past financial year.
Auditor-General Terence Nombembe has urged government departments to work hard towards achieving clean audits, saying sound financial management will go a long way in improving public confidence in state institutions.
Nombembe is currently on a nationwide drive to encourage clean audits by awarding those departments that have consistently received clean audits with trophies.
On Tuesday, he presented a trophy to Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molowa for her "sound leadership" and for ensuring her department achieved a clean audit in the past financial year.
A similar award will be presented to Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba and Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor.
Nombembe said non-compliance with laws and regulations and the Public Finance Management Act was blocking attempts to have unqualified reports for the country.
"The only way to ensure that we improve the public's confidence in public institutions is through the manner in which we manage public funds. By these awards what we want to achieve is more clean audits by government departments," he said.
Since the accolades were introduced at municipal level several years ago there has been a marked increase in municipalities achieving clean audits.
"You go to municipalities in Mpumalanga and Limpopo - you see many of them getting clean audits and we think many are getting motivated when they see their peers rewarded for the hard work."
Molewa said the award would serve as an encouragement to the entire department's staff.
"We must all work hard, all of us in government, to ensure that our finances are in order because getting clean audit reports is a must for every state institution," she said.
For the first time this year, the Auditor-General began conducting quarterly reviews of government departments, focusing on problem areas identified in preceding reviews in order to give early warning signs of any financial trouble in the public sphere.