Auditor General puts an end to NW Municipal “Clean Audit by 2014” propaganda

Chris Hattingh

North West Democratic Alliance Provincial Leader

The annual Auditor General ‘s (AG) briefing on the audit outcomes of North West Municipalities delivered in Mafikeng this morning revealed a shocking further regression on NW municipalities – NW municipalities are simply caught in a free-fall predicament with the NW Provincial Government not only in a state of denial but also passive spectators.

The AG reported that :

* only 9 (37%) of the 24 NW municipalities could present financial statements by the cut-off date, seven months after their year end. The corresponding unacceptable figure of the previous year was 17 out of 24 municipalities (78%)

* not a single municipality could get a clean audit report and 5 (56%) of the nine municipalities received a “disclaimer” AG opinion.

* only 27% of municipalities corrected material misstatements identified by the auditors.

The deterioration of capacity prevalent in North West Municipalities was highlighted by the AG :- In 88% of the municipalities where consultants were appointed to perform financial administrative work there were no vacancies – The AG reported “lack of necessary technical expertise”. This is indicative of governance in general in the NW where capacitated people with expertise were replaced by a brutal NW ANC factional cadre deployment policy.

Even the appointment of suitable consultants appears to have become a major problem :

In 63% of municipalities where consultants were employed to assist with the financial management and with the compilation of financial statements the AG found that these statements “remained disclaimed, adverse or qualified”

The AG found that every audited NW Municipality were not in compliance with laws and regulations.

The shocking and declining state of the financial administration of NW municipalities as identified during the 2010-2011 audit and presented by the AG puts an effective end to the vision of a provincial clean audit by 2014 as proclaimed by the Premier. The NW Provincial Government should rather now initiate new initiatives to rescue NW local authorities. The previous interventions and on-going (secretive) investigations provide no solution at all.

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