With only a few days left before the Auditor-General commences the audit process in the province’s municipalities, KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Nomusa Dube-Ncube has expressed satisfaction with the conducive climate created by the Mayors for auditors to do their work without fear or favour.
Today, MEC Dube-Ncube met with mayors of municipalities who regressed in their audit outcomes for the 2016/2017 financial year to take stock of the progress made in addressing audit findings through the implementation of these municipalities’ audit response plans.
The meeting took place against the background of fifteen of the fifty four municipalities which ended up with negative audit outcomes for the 2016/2017 financial year. The meeting was a follow–up on an initial meeting in February which was held to determine the level of progress achieved and the measures that are now in place to address all outstanding audit matters.
The meeting also assessed the state of readiness for the upcoming submission of financial statements that will form the basis of 2017/2018 municipal audits.
“We are optimistic and highly upbeat about the hands-on approach adopted by our mayors and the priority they have given to addressing the audit findings from the Auditor-General. We are also satisfied with the level of preparation and all efforts to ensure that all auditors will be able to do their work in a conducive environment in all KZN municipalities.
“As Cogta, we want to increase the number of clean audits and positive audit outcomes with no emphasis of matters. We are determined to do away with disclaimers, adverse and qualified audit opinions. We want to do away with irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure. We want to see harsh consequences for anyone responsible for our municipalities’ negative audit reports.
“Our Mayors are reporting that they are attending to the root causes reported by the Auditor-General as contributing factors to the negative audit outcomes in KZN municipalities, such as slow response to improving key internal controls by senior municipal management, inadequate consequences for poor performance and instability and prolonged vacancies in key management positions in municipalities.
“As Cogta we are investing more time in improving municipal audit outcomes and ensuring good performance and value for money on the ground. All municipalities have been instructed to submit their annual financial statements on time and we will monitor their compliance,” said Dube-Ncube.