It is too late to try and change the department of public works (DPW)'s audit outcome for the 2011-2012 financial year, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said on Tuesday.
"Too little, too late has been done to fundamentally change the audit outcome for financial year 2011-2012... that is why for the current year that has just commenced we are employing additional capacity."
The minister was briefing the media on issues he would be focusing on in his budget speech later on Tuesday.
He said positive results from the department could only be expected by mid-year, when the Interim Audit results were presented by the Auditor General.
"DPW is still in ICU, but we are now stopping the bleeding and stabilising the patient before deciding on the appropriate long-term treatment."
He said some of the priorities for the department during 2012-2013 would include the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), its public entities, capital projects and the department's turnaround strategy.
The strategy, he said, would see public works being supported and assisted by the departments of finance and home affairs as well as rural development and land reform.
"This broad support will be crucial in turning around the DPW and of course we are carefully studying the successes at home affairs and the SA Revenue Service."
Another project would include the "cleansing" of the Immovable Assets Register.
"The cleansing of the Immovable Assets Register allows us to complete the devolution of some 50,000 properties to provinces and fast-track the vesting process across the board."
He said the department would continue working with Treasury to identify irregular leases, collect debt owed to the department, to establish a reliable lease register and to review the department's lease management.
'Of course a successful turnaround depends on getting the right people in the right places and capacitating and using the people we have optimally."