Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has warned all poorly performing municipalities in the province of harsh consequences for non-compliance with the legislative prescripts that govern the financial health of all local governance institutions.
The department’s warning came on Friday during a meeting between Provincial MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nomusa Dube-Ncube and the mayors and key officials from the non-performing municipalities.
MEC Dube-Ncube said that non-compliance with laws such the Municipal Financial Management Act (MFMA) leads to poor audit outcomes.
“Even as KZN beat all expectations in the 2013/2014 financial
year with 20 clean audits for municipalities and municipal entities, there are still municipalities that received disclaimers and qualified audit opinions. They are the target of our most recent appeal for performance and compliance,” said MEC Dube-Ncube.
The provincial Auditor-General and the oversight reports of the department, municipal finance business unit find that a total of three municipalities received disclaimers in the province in the 2013/2014 reporting cycle.
Both Amajuba District and Jozini regressed from unqualified opinion to a disclaimer, whilst Hlabisa regressed from a qualified opinion to a disclaimer.
“This seems to be a moving target with a different set of municipalities regressing into this category each year,” MEC Dube–Ncube said.
During the same cycle, KwaZulu-Natal also recorded eight qualified audit opinions comprising of six municipalities and two municipal entities.
The six municipalities are Umkhanyakude District, Uthukela District, Ugu District, Vulamehlo, Newcastle, Mooi Mpofana and Umhlosinga Development Agency under Umkhanyakude District, as well as Hibiscus Coast Development Agency under Harry Gwala District.
MEC Dube–Ncube said even as the department accepts that some municipalities’ battle with structural challenges, they maintain that their managers have no excuse not to be responsive and take their work seriously.
“Councils have no excuse not to ensure that they take sound decisions on critical issues of key positions in senior management and the appointment of appropriately skilled staff,” said MEC Dube-Ncube.
In the context of the Back to Basics programme, which seeks to put all of the province’s municipalities on a sound footing, the department now requires that municipalities recognise and reward good performance and impose harsh consequences for under-performance and non-performance in administration.
“Wherever municipalities fail to account for and prudently manage their resources, the department demands to know what is being done to rectify this,” she warned. – SAnews.gov.za