Parliament, Friday, 10 July 2020 – The Standing Committee on the Auditor-General believes that there is a need to scrutinise the serious problems plaguing the municipalities by zooming into their finances. The committee said it is important for the responsible oversight bodies to scrutinise these municipalities closely.
The Auditor-General (AG), Mr Kimi Makwetu, briefed the committee today on the 2018/19 local government audit outcomes. The briefing painted a grim picture of the municipal finances and called for a different approach to be taken when dealing with the municipalities.
It became clear that it is not enough for the oversight bodies to just raise concerns, as the expression of concerns has been clearly meaningless and made no impact on the conduct of the municipalities. According to the committee it is important for all the oversight bodies to critically evaluate the mechanisms they have been using for the purposes of improving their effectiveness.
The committee calls upon the Department of Cooperative Government and Traditional Affairs, the South African Local Government Association and the Municipal Public Account Committees to work together to ensure that oversight is tightened in municipalities.
The committee believes that there is a need to engage the National Treasury, the Accountant General in particular, to seriously look at the capacity of municipalities on financial management.
The committee has expressed its concern over the 28 outstanding audits from municipalities while 35% of audited municipalities are in a vulnerable financial position.