MEC MUST RESIGN FOLLOWING CONTINUED REGRESS OF EC MUNICIPAL AUDITS

Local government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane must resign following the damning report of continued audit regress of Eastern Cape municipalities released by the Auditor-General today (subs: Tuesday, 13 August).

No municipality received a clean audit for the last financial year, there was unauthorised expenditure by 45 municipalities and entities of R2, 23 billion (an increase of R1,66 billion over the previous year), and fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R130 million. This shows an MEC out of touch and unable to stem this woeful tide of mismanagement in our municipalities. In addition the Eastern Cape has had the second highest number of service delivery protests in the country.

I have written to the Premier, Noxolo Kiviet, asking her to intervene in this matter.

Indeed as stated by Auditor-General Terence Nombembe today: “The Auditor General calls for decisive action against political leaders and municipal officials that deliberately or negligently ignore their duties”.

It is against this statement that Local Government MEC Mlibo Qoboshiyane should resign.

In addition I publically call on MEC Qoboshiyane to tell the citizens of this province what he is doing or intends doing to effect better audit and fiduciary responsibility in our municipalities and when he will take action against non- performers.

As an added measure I have written to my colleague in parliament MP John Steenhuizen, asking him to request the National Minister to consider a national intervention into the affairs of local government in the province.

Of further concern is the inability and hesitation by the MEC to take decisive action against non-performance from accounting officials in numerous municipalities in the province.

Another worry is why the Honourable MEC Qoboshiyane chooses to funk the implementation of the Constitutional Section 139 provincial interventions in many of our municipalities but opts for the less severe section 154 clause which is vague about concrete proposals to assist financially stressed municipalities.

The continued lack of financial discipline within our municipalities results in less service delivery.

This has a cascading effect on the quality of life and denies citizens better living and life opportunities through better municipal services.

In turn these shortcomings do not allow people to access the dignified quality of life that they are entitled to.

It is time for MEC Qoboshiyane to move over and hand the reins of local government to a capable person who will act without fear or favour to turn around the financial fortunes of municipalities in this province.

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Cecile Greyling

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