A more convincing reason why the majority of municipalities are struggling for funds for their operations is that they are wasteful and flout expected accounting procedures, if the Auditor General’s 2012/2013 review is anything to go by.
Just 9% of municipalities and municipal entities achieved unqualified audits in 2012/2013, which meant that 91% failed to account for the expenditure they made.
Of the 319 audits, 22 municipalities and eight municipal entities had unqualified audits with no findings, otherwise known as clean audits. Of the 30 clean audits, 13 had sustained this distinction from the 2011/2012 audit.
The Western Cape and Kwazulu Natal performed splendidly, said Auditor General (AG), Kimi Makwetu. “We commend the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces for already tracking double digits in the [clean audit] category.”
The statistical breakdown of the audits is as follows:
- 18%, or 59 of those audited, received disclaimed audit opinions;
- 41% get unqualified audits with findings (with findings indicated that there were cases where the requisite processes were not followed);
- 2%, or eight auditees, received adverse audit opinions, where an extreme lack of accountability was evident in financial statements.