Mpumalanga has 3 district municipalities and 18 local municipalities, of which only 2 district municipalities got clean audits. None of the 18 local municipalities got clean audits.
Muzi Chirwa’s Gert Sibande district municipality and Sarah Masilela’s Nkangala district municipality have received a clean bill of financial health, this being the second time Chirwa gets it in as many years.
Jester Sidel’s eHlanzeni district municipality received no clean audits…
And all of the local municipalities falling under their 3 district municipalities received no clean audits, despite paying private consulting firms a whopping R100 million to help them look after their finances.
Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu said the consulting firms were not supposed to be appointed – because the municipalities have permanent staff responsible for compiling the financial statements.
The Auditor-General’s report was first presented to Parliament’s council of provinces on 26 June 2020.
Nationally, South African municipalities squandered R32 billion in irregular and wasteful expenditures in the past financial year – with Mpumalanga’s irregular expenditure totalling R1.09 billion.
This amount of scandalous wastage is up R7 billion compared to the 2016/17 financial year.
There was also a further R358 million circled for auditing in the province – but with no submissions made by the municipalities to explain it before the Auditor-General’s deadline.
The DA said it was worrying that private firms were used but “have not added any value, with no improved outcome seen”.
“Only two municipalities were able to benefit from the use of these consultants, depsite R98 million being spent. The other municipalities still saw financial mismanagement and this itself is of concern as taxpayers money is being wasted,” said the DA in a statement.
Makwetu said municipal managers should account for these wasted billions, as it cannot be accepted that taxpayers money are wasted with such blatant impunity.
“The government cannot afford to lose money because of poor decision-making, neglect or inefficiencies,” said the Auditor-General.
Makwetu, whose 7 year term as Mzansi’s auditor-general comes to an end in December, said he had already served 9 municipal managers across South Africa with notices to account for irregular and fruitless expenditure amounting to R32 billion.
He said that the country continued to see a rise in fruitless and wasteful expenditure, with 200 municipalities having lost billions in the current year.
“Over the three-year period, R4.27bn of government expenditure was fruitless and wasteful. In total, 91% of the municipalities did not comply with legislation. The outcome is similar to the previous year and slightly higher than the 85% in 2016/17,” he said.
The R32.06 billion fruitless expenditure is a rise from last year’s R25.2 billion.
It was only municipalities in Gauteng and Western Cape that made progress in looking after their finances and servicing people, the rest went from worse to worst.
(edited by ZK)
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