By Chris Hattingh, DA Provincial Legislature Leader:
The DA will leave no stone unturned to govern Potchefstroom after the 2016 elections.
It is clear that the Tlokwe Municipality, once the North West flagship municipality, has now, (as most failing NW Municipalities), also become an institution with limited accountability and questionable financial practices.
This is a trademark of North West Municipalities and Provincial Departments where cadre deployment without the required qualifications, expertise, experience and capacity has become the norm.
The North West Standing Committee on Public Accounts (NW SCOPA) today, 10 June, held a public hearing to interrogate the Tlokwe Municipality (Potchefstroom) on their Audit outcomes for the 2013-2014 financial year.
The Auditor General (AG) inter alia reported that:
- “Unauthorized expenditure of R235 248 036 “
- “Irregular Expenditure of R27 954 946 was incurred during the current year and irregular expenditure of R364 370 504 of prior years”.
- “Fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R134 138 was incurred during the financial year and fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R1 552 150 of prior years has not yet been dealt with in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA)”.
- The AG further reported that “the municipality materially underspent the capital budget by R9 165 633” and “as a consequence service delivery was affected negatively”.
- And “impairments of R52 443 392 and material losses of R30 225 058 respectively were incurred as a result of a significant impairment of debtors and electricity and water losses.”
The AG further reported that “unauthorized, irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by the municipality was not investigated to determine if any person was liable for the expenditure” as required by law.
NW SCOPA heard that the municipality for the past 5 years only had a Chief Financial Officer for a limited period and for the rest of the period had to rely on an official acting in that position.
During the public hearing it has also become clear that required procedures, including disciplinary actions, criminal charges and the recovering of funds willfully expended because of unauthorized, irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure, did not happen.
The Nexus forensic investigative report, addressing a series of irregularities and involving senior (ANC) officials, more than two years after it was received by the Municipality, has not yet been interrogated by the Council.