Nzimande wants local govt to up standards
Johannesburg - Improving financial management in local government would address issues that spark service delivery protests, Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande said on Thursday.
"Enhanced municipal service delivery, along with cleaner municipal administration... is perhaps ambitious but critically necessary," he said at a programme launch in Johannesburg.
"The expectations of communities have been raised by the state but not always met."
He said financial management was a key skill in local government and clearly not up to standard.
Only seven of 237 municipalities obtained unqualified audits for the past financial year.
"We are looking for ambassadors and change agents to turn this around," the minister said.
The department launched a skills programme on Thursday to upgrade financial skills at municipalities.
The programme's aim was to introduce minimum standards of competence for supply chain and financial managers.
These minimum standards were in accordance with National Treasury regulations to be put into effect in January 2013.
The R72m programme is a partnership between the department, National Treasury, Deloitte and the SA Institute of Chartered Accountants.
A pilot programme had already trained 160 unemployed graduates and 150 municipal officials, deploying them to nine districts in Gauteng, Kwazulu Natal and North West.