The warning issued by the Auditor-General (AG) in his audit report that local government in Gauteng is headed toward financial ruin has come much too late. One of the burning issues that the AG focused on in his report is Gauteng municipalities’ under performance.
The FF Plus forewarned that the ANC’s trail of mismanagement, corruption and state capture will leave an ugly mark on Gauteng. These are the main reasons why municipalities in Gauteng are in such a terrible state and the AG and provincial treasury should have intervened a long time ago already.
The FF Plus is of the opinion that municipalities’ integrated development plans (IDP) are not being rolled out as planned and, thus, there is no growth that is in line with the proposed budgets.
Irregularities in municipalities are not addressed and there are little to no consequences for mismanagement. Losses amounting to millions of rand become taxpayers’ problem while service delivery deteriorates.
Not one of the struggling municipalities tabled a sustainable turn-around strategy when the 2020/21 financial year commenced. And not much was done to offer support to small businesses enterprises to facilitate growth and stability in the local economy.
It is alarming that municipalities spend millions of rand on consultants to try and sort out the chaos in their financial departments.
This is the reason why the FF Plus requested an accountability audit in the legislature committees on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) and Public Accounts Committee (SCOPA) last year.
The aim was to determine whether municipal and provincial legislature officials have the required qualifications and experience to do the work that they have been appointed to do. It will ensure that money is not needlessly spent on hiring consultants.
The report was supposed to be submitted to the respective committees before the end of last year, but the drawn-out period of lockdown seems to have created an environment for the ANC government to shirk its accountability or to put it off indefinitely.
The FF Plus will intensify its role as local government watchdog by putting more pressure on municipalities and the executive authority to fulfill their constitutional mandate.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Amanda de Lange on FF Plus
South Africa Today – South Africa News