David Mabuza to ‘sanction’ managers, politicians

2013-08-28 11:59

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Mpumalanga premier David Mabuza will “sanction” managers and political leaders of poor-performing municipalities after they continued to receive bad reports from the Auditor-General.

It appears Mabuza will keep the promise he had made in February that managers whose municipalities get audit disclaimers must voluntarily step down from their positions or face dismissal.

The premier told mayors, municipal managers and Cabinet members during provincial lekgotla he would soon hold one-on-one meetings with poor performers “in order to determine the type sanction they deserve”.

Mabuza’s spokesperson, Zibonele Mncwango, said: “The premier said the leaders of the poor performing municipalities would further have to present their cases at the provincial headquarters of the [ANC].”

Only two Mpumalanga municipalities – Ehlanzeni district (Nelspruit) and Steve Tshwete (Middelburg) – had clean audits in the recently released Auditor-General’s report for the 2011/12 financial year.

The Bushbuckridge, Nkomazi (Malalane), Thaba Chweu (Lydenburg), Lekwa (Standerton) and Msukaligwa (Ermelo) municipalities received disclaimers while a further seven municipalities got qualified audit opinions.

The other five municipalities got unqualified opinions with findings. Emalahleni (formerly Witbank) and Mkhondo (Piet Retief) were not audited because they failed to meet deadlines to submit their financial statements.

Also, Mpumalanga municipalities spent R1.3 billion on tenders awarded without following procurement procedures, fruitless, irregular and unauthorised expenditure.

According to the Municipal Finance Management Act, such transactions should be investigated and disciplinary action taken against the responsible officials.

Mabuza said he was concerned that the Auditor-General raised similar issues every year, but there was no improvement on the running of municipalities.

“You forget that your positions are very difficult, even those of the ministers are much better because they sometimes come once to meet the people, whereas you stay with them every day. When people complain about RDP houses, they do not even go to the department of human settlements but come directly to you, and yet you are impatient with them,” Mabuza said.

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