KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has noted the report on the audit outcomes of municipalities for the 2017/2018 financial year. The outcomes show that 34 KZN municipalities have received unqualified audits (including one clean audit), 13 had qualified opinions, six had adverse findings and one had a disclaimer.

“We congratulate the majority of our municipalities that have received unqualified audits outcomes. This is a reflection on the hard work by their officials and such hard work must be acknowledged and encouraged going forward. Ideally, we would like this success repeated and improved upon in the audit outcomes for the 2018/2019 financial year,” said Hlomuka.

KZN Cogta MEC has also urged all municipalities to analyse the Auditor-General’s findings and implement immediate consequence management measures where required. In practice, no bonuses should be paid to officials in municipalities where the latest audit outcome was a disclaimer or an adverse opinion or where there has been no tangible improvement.

“We would also like to see a situation where mayors and municipal managers who have failed to apply due diligence will face having all wasted public funds recovered from them. It is clear that all rules have to be enforced if they are to yield the desired outcomes. We need to get serious about improving our municipal audit outcomes across the board,” said Hlomuka.

We will continue assisting municipalities to improve their audit outcomes through targeted support programmes and regular engagements with all poorly performing municipalities in the province. All departmental support programmes will be reviewed in light of the latest audit outcomes.

“As we ponder on these municipal audit outcomes, we are reminded of former President Nelson Mandela’s words to remain positive into the future: the important part is not how many times one has fallen but how many times one has risen after one has fallen. This, however, does not mean that we can condone repeated failure where there is no evidence of improvement,” said Hlomuka.

For more information contact: KZN Cogta spokespersons Lennox Mabaso, 082 884 2403; or Senzelwe Mzila 082 474 1882