Cogta MEC Dube calls 19 mayors to book

2011-08-01 00:00

MSUNDUZI municipality was amongst 19 municipalities across the province which were summoned by the Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC Nomsa Dube on Friday, to explain what they are doing to rectify issues mentioned in their annual audit report.

“When we suspected that Msunduzi municipality was in financial problems we asked the municipal manager, Rob Haswell, if everything was going well in the municipality and he boldly said everything is fine,” said Dube.

Dube said officials must be open and honest about the financial state of the municipality because that gives her office an idea how to save the sinking ship if the problem is detected early enough.

Dube reminded the 19 mayors and officials who had gathered at the Cogta office in Mayville that all municipalities in the province were signatories to the Operation Clean Audit by 2014, which was launched in Pietermaritzburg in January 2010.

She said she understands that some of the mayors present did not personally sign that pledge because it was signed by their predecessors and inherited by them.

However, she expects the mayors to execute every commitment signed by their predecessors.

The purpose of Friday’s meeting was to address non-compliance with the Municipal Financial Management Act (MFMA) by certain municipalities in the province.

“The specific areas of non-compliance that we are looking at today are the negative audit outcomes, particularly in relation to municipalities that received disclaimed, adverse and qualified audit opinions [and] those municipalities who did not respond to the audit reports or provided inadequate responses,” said Dube.

Msunduzi was summoned there because it had received a qualified audit for 2010/11 financial year and they had to explain why a partially adequate response had been issued by the Auditor General.

The MEC warned against a developing trend by the municipalities which use their reserve funds and said that should be stopped because it is a sign that the municipality is in a bad financial state.

“Mayors should thus institute this action and report thereon to the department within one month of the date of this meeting,” she added.

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