Auditor General, Kimi Makwethu released in a media statement, the local government audit report for financial year 2018-2019. In the report Kimi Makwethu, highlights the appalling state of governance and the blatant misuse of funds allocated to municipalities across South Africa.
The Auditor General(AG) says in his report that the billions of rands in funds given to municipalities are being used in ways that are contrary to the prescripts and do not align with or follow the recognized accounting disciplines. He cautions that these practices make for weak accountability and consequent abuse of the public purse and state funds.
For the period in review (2018-2019), Auditor General South Africa(AGSA) confirms that 257 municipalities were audited across the country. Only 21 (8%) of 257 municipalities produced a clean audit.
The Northern Cape has been in a prolonged state of undesirable outcomes according to AGSA, with yet another year of overall regression in expenditure. The John Taolo Gaetsewe District Municipality is the only municipality that managed to produce a clean audit. Six municipalities have performed worse than they did in previous years and only 3 have improved.
The breakdown of the Northern Cape report shows that Supply Chain management processes are being abused and there’s an overall lack in scrutinizing municipal bank accounts. In addition to this, leadership has failed to cultivate a sense of accountability to AGSA and in implement preventative spending controls.
For the financial year 2018-2019, the Northern Cape has incurred a total of 390 million in irregular expenditure alone.
As a province it is important that we hold the relevant people accountable for the outright misuse of state funds accompanied by greed and corruption. It begins at the local municipality and ensuring that every person fulfills their duties in any position that they hold and, more importantly, is interested in the betterment of society.
Kimi Makwethu dubbed the Northern Cape audit reports as the province with “A prolonged state of undesirable outcomes”.
The province spent a total of 47 million rand on consultant costs for financial reporting. Yet, proper financial reports weren’t submitted according to AGSA compliance standards and others did not comply at all and have outstanding reports altogether.
Makwethu affirms that it is no longer about achieving a desired audit outcome, but about whether the municipality is investing in the qualitative and preventative measures to restore the integrity of these institutions and place them in a position to manage their finances toward the betterment of the citizens and improving the overall state of the community.