Why municipalities are in trouble: 5 things worth knowing

Kimi Makwetu e1359195516529 Why municipalities are in trouble: 5 things worth knowing

Municipalities’ audit results have not improved despite them spending R370 million on consultants to help them with their books, the Auditor-General has said.

Speaking at a press conference in Pretoria today, Deputy Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu said there has been stagnation in the push for clean audits, and added that some municipalities had even “regressed”.

This is despite the fact that government initiated a project to have clean audit outcomes by 2014 in municipalities.

Cooperative Governance Deputy Minister Andries Nel said their target had been ambitious, but the push for clean audits will continue.

Five things worth knowing about the 2011/12 audit results for municipalities:

» The number of municipalities that received a clean audit opinion (unqualified with no findings) remained the same – at 17.

» None of the country’s eight metropolitan municipalities received a clean audit opinion, even though some of them were among the 117 that came close (unqualified with findings).

» Irregular spending of public funds went up from R6.9 billion to R9.8 billion.

» R118 million in contracts went to councillors and municipal officials. But there are no consequences unless it can be shown that the contracts were awarded irregularly.

» One of the reasons why municipalities are in trouble is because they leave the key positions of municipal manager, chief financial officer and supply chain manager vacant for too long. At least 46 of the 208 appointed municipal managers did not meet any of the “prescribed competency requirements”.

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