News24

Municipalities must meet citizens' expectations

2012-09-11 18:32

Johannesburg - Municipal expenses should match citizens' perceptions of service delivery, Auditor General Terence Nombembe said on Tuesday.

"That is, in essence, the acid test of service delivery: not only what [local government] perceive has happened, but what citizens have experienced in real life," he said.

Addressing the SA Local Government Association (Salga) conference in Midrand, Nombembe said there had to be a correlation between what municipalities were spending money on, and the experience of citizens.

"Within the global arena, as the community of auditor generals, it has dawned on us... that this issue of citizen expectation is becoming more and more serious," he said.

Conflicting expectations

"There is an emerging and compelling expectation that people are demanding what they need..."

Nombembe said his office was researching other jurisdictions to see how they related to citizens, to ensure there was a correlation between government financial records and citizens' experiences.

It was important that the AG conduct surveys and get feedback to ensure "at no stage do we have conflicting expectations with citizens".

"We would like to explore this subject, that this issue is given serious attention by Salga," he said.

Nombembe wanted local government to look at ways of working together to achieve clean administrations.

"It is clear that if... we continue to work in isolation, the chances of us achieving greater mileage in local government are going to be compromised," he said.

He suggested regular meetings of local government leaders to find ways of working together.

The arrangement should include Salga, provincial treasuries, the AG's office, provincial government departments and district municipalities.

Sound financial governance


"So that, from time to time, we do get together and say, what would be the ingredient... to achieve sound financial governance in local government?" Nombembe said.

"This does not happen at the moment," he said.

A recent report by Nombembe found that only 13 out of 343 municipalities in South Africa achieved clean audits in the financial year 2011/12.

Local government leaders needed to exhibit the right "tone", through ethical conduct, honesty, and integrity, Nombembe said.

This was difficult to measure, but had to be practised until it became the norm and the culture in local government. "It is the foundation of everything else that we say we want to happen within local government."

Nombembe said the government should not outsource certain core business, including putting together budgets and financial accounts, and providing technical engineering services.

"The activities of government are essential and critical... it's something we cannot outsource."

Therefore, local government needed to create the right environment to encourage people to work for it.

Nombembe was speaking on the second and final day of the Salga conference.

Comments
  • max.reynecke - 2012-09-11 18:46

    Don't tell US what we already know YOU must do...it is like small children learning new things every day and then it is mind boggeling to them.

      ianon.ym - 2012-09-11 20:22

      Incompetent Fools.

      lacrimosewolf - 2012-09-11 21:16

      Ah yes the predictable 3 modes: stating the obvious, blaming someone/something else and outright denial (even in the face of overwhelming, irrefutable evidence). No doubt the audience nodded and agreed, applauded and maybe even sang a song at the end of this speech. But that's as much impact this speech will have

  • irene.buthelezi.1 - 2012-09-11 18:55

    The only thing they understand is stealing.

  • alet.dewitt - 2012-09-11 19:25

    I honestly hope that the citizens pay for the services and will pay for future services being delivered..................

  • Desilusionada - 2012-09-11 19:28

    You only discover it now!!!! The Municipality is, just like the government, a servant of the taxpayer. So any good manager listens to his/her customers. They do not drive big black cars, dressed in nice black suits, wearing thick black sunglasses, smoking thick black cigars, drinking exquisite black whisky, while expecting the customer to just pay for it all. And the little bit left, if any, is then used to support the cadres who managed to wangle a tender to build a sub-standard road.......

  • mlu.khan - 2012-09-11 19:36

    I'm shocked that it's only dawning now that people have expectation that need to be met

  • clive.priestman - 2012-09-11 19:38

    what a joke

  • sarel.brits - 2012-09-11 19:38

    Yes and economic feasibility and the availability of funding is of no concern, This man is just telling potential ANC voters what they want to hear and making promise to supply goods and services to people that can not afford it but hey they can vote and its not like the ANC had to work for that money they are splashing around. But this 2 shall come to pass the seemingly bottomless fountain will also be dried up.

  • harold.parsons.37 - 2012-09-11 19:44

    Ethical conduct honesty and integrity are all Measureable values and can be audited. If a member of a municipality behaves in such a way that causes him to go to jail he has placed his honesty and integrity at risk. If a municipality is found guilty of a corrupt practice in tendering then the people involved have placed their integrity and honesty at risk and need to be dismissed. What is so difficult about measuring that. The problem it will be a cadre who losses his/her job

  • Billy - 2012-09-11 20:07

    this is pathetic. why do you think people are paying money in taxes?! answer that question please!

  • freddie.mostert.3 - 2012-09-11 20:13

    Aparently, according to current rate of everything, BASICS will be delivered in the year 2276. But thats just with the current population!

  • pierre.walt - 2012-09-11 20:37

    Just appoint the experienced and not by colour..easy

  • jacques.swanepoel.372 - 2012-09-11 21:40

    Get the experienced people back to steer the ship in the right direction, It is that SIMPLE!

  • sellow.mattbs - 2012-09-11 22:12

    The government is aware that the basics delivery is very poor, and doesn't know where to start cos obviously the country(SA) is very big to be serviced by an inexperienced majority. the media is getting every penny cos we like laughing at your everyday promises:

  • sellow.mattbs - 2012-09-11 22:12

    The government is aware that the basics delivery is very poor, and doesn't know where to start cos obviously the country(SA) is very big to be serviced by an inexperienced majority. the media is getting every penny cos we like laughing at your everyday promises:

  • sellow.mattbs - 2012-09-11 22:13

    The government is aware that the basics delivery is very poor, and doesn't know where to start cos obviously the country(SA) is very big to be serviced by an inexperienced majority. the media is getting every penny cos we like laughing at your everyday promises:

  • willie.steenkamp.14 - 2012-09-11 22:52

    The only thing the municipalities can do is to change town and street names! They cannot deliver the basic services because the idiots are inexpierence, because the experiened people were replaced by affirmative action and are wathing this country going down the drain!!

  • john.cryink - 2012-09-12 07:54

    Again how is municipalities going to meet expecrations? Most people are not paying their rates and taxes.

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