Eastern Cape: MEC Fikile Xasa Calls For Tougher Action On Negative Audit Outcomes By Some Municipalities

AUGUST 28, 2014

The Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in the Eastern Cape Province (COGTA-EC) hosted the first ever Audit Improvement Reporting Session for Eastern Cape Mayors in East London on Tuesday. Municipal Managers and chairpersons of Municipal Public Account Committees (MPAC) were also in attendance.

The session, chaired by MEC Fikile Xasa, was attended by fifteen Eastern Cape municipalities that have received adverse and disclaimer audit opinion in the 2012/2013 financial year as reflected in the Auditor General’s latest Municipal audit report.  They 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.

This is a new experience wherein the MEC is rigorously exercising his oversight function as per the Constitution of the country in an effort to turn things around for the better.

COGTA-EC remains concerned about negative audit reports affecting municipalities of the Province which continue to diminish the status and good standing of the Provincial government.

The reporting session is therefore geared towards serious conversation with the affected municipalities to arrest the decline in the oversight role of leadership in the daily operations of municipalities which have resulted in negative audit outcomes.

The session dealt with the following issues, amongst others, poor quality of Annual Financial Statements, weak internal controls, management of consultants and contracts, Municipal Audit Remedial Plans, consequence management for poor performance, Asset Management, quicker turn around plans in filling critical posts etc.

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, the Provincial Treasury and GIZ to instil a culture of good governance and clean administration in the targeted municipalities. MEC Xasa will sign performance agreements with the Mayors of the affected municipalities to be monitored on a quarterly basis.

“The time to restore public confidence in municipalities is through collaboration, hard work and intolerance to non-performance,” MEC Xasa said.

The 30 day payment period of service providers is a non-negotiable. Equally, important is fruitless and wasteful expenditure which must be matched with consequence management against the guilty parties.

COGTA-EC is committed to work with its partners to address negative audit outcomes in the identified municipalities.

Photo caption: CALLING FOR TOUGHER ACTION...  Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Fikile Xasa.