KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka has urged municipalities to ensure transparency and value for money in all public procurement of Covid-19-related goods and services as long as much expenditure continues to be incurred in the province.

“Although Covid-19-related expenditure by municipalities, like any other expenditure by municipalities, is within their purview, KZN Cogta is monitoring such expenditure to ensure that ultimately all funds earmarked for the fight against Covid-19 are spent judiciously,” said Hlomuka.

KZN Cogta has today presented a report on Covid-19-related expenditure by the province’s municipalities to the Provincial Legislature’s Cogta portfolio committee. The report also includes all the names of the service providers that were utilised by municipalities where services were procured. As of 2 October 2020, such expenditure across KZN municipalities stood at R812.6-million, of which eThekwini metro accounted for R480.9-million.

“As a department which exercises general oversight over local government institutions in the province, we continue to urge municipalities to ensure that all public procurement processes they engage in ultimately meet the test of transparency and value for money set for them by the National Treasury and the Auditor-General,” said Hlomuka.

The department has directed municipalities to ensure that Mayor’s table a detailed report on COVID-19 expenditure to Council for adoption which is to be included in the Special Adjustment Budget allowed for in respect of 2019/2020 by National Treasury Circular 99 by 15 June 2020.

“The list of suppliers has been submitted to the Provincial Treasury who will analyse it against the Central Supplier Database to determine the demographic profile of Companies. The Auditor-General will be specifically focusing on COVID-19 Expenditure during the 2020/2021 MFMA audit of municipalities which recently commenced” said Hlomuka.

KZN Cogta will continue to monitor municipal expenditure, including Covid-19-related expenditure, and provide the necessary support to all municipalities which in view of the department may require it. The department is committed to clean governance and it is continuously imparting this ethos on all municipalities in the province.