Municipalities urged to improve performance

Pretoria – Cabinet has expressed grave concern over the quality of the municipal audit results as reported by Auditor-General Terence Nombembe late last month.

“Cabinet [has] directed the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), Richard Baloyi, to ensure that municipalities employ qualified Chief Financial Officers at all levels, in compliance with the municipal minimum competency requirements,” said a statement issued by Government Communications (GCIS) after Cabinet’s fortnightly meeting.

The Consolidated General Report on the Audit Outcomes of Local Government 2010-11, released on 23 July, revealed that 156 out of the total of 343 (or 45%) of municipalities obtained financially unqualified audit reports. The unqualified audit reports were obtained after corrections during the audit process and with help from auditors.

For the rest of the municipalities, 18% received financially qualified results, 19% received adverse opinions or disclaimers, while 13% of municipalities had not submitted their financial results in time for auditing.

The Auditor-General’s office also took note of a lack of minimum competencies of over 70% of officials in key positions. Municipalities across the country have since committed to improving their audit outcomes.

Six municipalities, however, joined the ranks of municipalities with clean audits this year, bringing the total number to 13. The 13 municipalities represent 5% of the sum of SA’s municipalities.

The municipalities with clean audits were in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and the Western Cape.

“Cabinet expressed appreciation for the additional six municipalities in the clean audit category for the year under review and the previous serving municipalities that maintained a clean audit.

“Cabinet commends the 13 municipalities that have received clean audits and calls on them to continue to sustain their good performance,” read the statement. –

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