AG Report proves poor Free State governance

Patricia Kopane MP

DA Free State Leader

The Auditor General report for the year 2011/12 on local government outcomes prove that Free State local government is mired in shady and corrupt governance.

The AG report for the year 2011/12 highlights:

  • Unauthorised expenditure increased significantly by 64%
  • All 21 municipalities and 3 municipal entities audited reported unauthorised, irregular and wasteful expenditure
  • Specifically fruitless and wasteful expenditure increased by R18 million (13%)
  • Municipalities continue to submit poor quality financial statements

Matjhabeng incurred 51% (R76,4 million) and Centlec 21% (R32,1 million) of the fruitless and wasteful expenditure reported in the Free State.

The above mentioned facts indicate large scale underperformance and perhaps even criminal activities by mayors and municipal managers.

In response to the 2010/11 audit outcomes, mayors committed themselves to meeting with AGSA every three months to discuss the key controls of auditees and their commitments. We are not surprised to see that underperforming municipalities failed to comply with these recommendations. Setsoto, Nala and Ngwathe did not comply and were not audited.

Out of 24 audited municipalities:

  • 7 showed a slight improvement
  • 13 remained unchanged,
  • 3 had incomplete audits, and
  • 1 regressed.

In view of this, Mr. Peter Frewen MPL will ask questions in the legislature about the provincial government’s commitment in getting clean audits. Various commitments undertaken by Premier Ace Magashule to stamp out corrupt activities have been left by the wayside. The AG reports that the Premier’s commitment to take decisive action against mayors and municipal officials found to be involved in fraudulent activity remains to be implemented.

The DA will scrutinise all the reports and will institute action against individuals in local government suspected of fraudulent activities, these people should be investigated and if found guilty, they must be dismissed, prosecuted and the public funds must be recovered.

Gross financial mismanagement and abuse of power by Free State public representatives and officials puts strain on the constitutional mandate to uplift our people from poverty and promote and advance economic growth.

The DA remains the only political party in South Africa committed to quality service delivery and an accessible, transparent and effective government for all.