EC local government audits: failing leadership results in failing municipalities

Bobby Stevenson

Bobby Stevenson

The Auditor General‘s report on audit outcomes of Local Government for 2012-13 was released today. (Wednesday, 3 July)

The failure of political and administrative leadership at local government level is the direct cause of these poor audit outcomes and our failing municipalities.

Once again the Eastern Cape municipalities have disappointed with no clean audits and 13 out of 45 municipalities receiving an adverse opinion or disclaimer.   An increase of 50% in irregular expenditure from R2,2 billion to R3,3 billion highlights the extent to which corruption and looting at local government level is prevalent.

The heart of the problem with local government audit outcomes is that we don’t have skilled personnel.  According to reports tabled in the provincial legislature last week, 20% of municipalities do not have Chief Financial Officers and some finance units  are run by interns.  Clearly we don’t have a systems problem we have a people problem.  It is time to put an end to the political protection and patronage of non-performing officials and hire those who can do the job.

The numerous departments and agencies that are involved in rendering assistance to municipalities are simply not getting the results that they should.  This is because the competency levels as laid down by National Treasury have simply not been met.

The increasing anger and frustration with poor service delivery at local government is going to find expression in the outcome of the 2016 municipal elections where the Democratic Alliance is on track to win a number of Eastern Cape municipalities.

Democratic Alliance-led municipalities will eradicate corruption, improve service delivery and ensure that our municipalities become places of hope and opportunity for those who reside in them.