Plans to restore confidence in municipalities
Fruitless and wasteful expenditure must be matched with consequence management against the guilty parties, Cooperative and Traditional Affairs MEC Fikile Devilliers Xasa said this week.
Speaking at the first Audit Improvement Reporting Session for mayors, municipal managers and chairpersons of Municipal Public Account Committees (MPAC), Xasa pledged his commitment to turning things around for the better.
MEC Xasa will sign performance agreements with the mayors of the affected municipalities, which will be monitored on a quarterly basis. “The time to restore public confidence in municipalities is through collaboration, hard work and intolerance to non-performance,” he said.
The MEC said the 30-day payment period of service providers is a non-negotiable.
“As a department, we are committed to work with its partners to address negative audit outcomes in the identified municipalities,” he said.
The gathering held under the auspices of the Eastern Cape Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department, dealt with poor quality of annual financial statements, weak internal controls, management of consultants and contracts. Plus it dealt with municipal audit remedial plans, consequence management for poor performance, asset management and quicker turnaround plans to fill critical posts, among others.
Held in East London, the session was attended by 15 municipalities that have received adverse and disclaimer audit opinions in the 2012/13 financial year, as reflected in the Auditor General’s latest Municipal audit report. The municipalities are Sundays River Valley, Ikwezi, Inxuba Yethemba, Ngqushwa, Lukhanji, King Sabatha Dalindyebo, Emalahleni, Alfred Nzo, OR Tambo, Makana, Gariep, Mhlontlo, Intsikayethu, Great Kei and Mbizana.
The reporting session was geared towards serious conversation with the affected municipalities to stop the decline in the oversight role of leadership in the daily operations of municipalities, which has resulted in negative audit outcomes.
The session will ensure on-going collaboration and partnerships between all key stakeholders, including the South African Local Government Association (Salga), Office of the Premier and the Provincial Treasury to instil a culture of good governance and clean administration in the targeted municipalities.
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