Councils to face grilling

2010-07-23 00:00

THE nine worst performing municipalities in terms of audited financial statements, including Msunduzi Municipality, have been summoned to the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature to explain their progress in putting their houses in order.

Finance portfolio committee chairperson Belinda Scott said the municipalities must be told to bring a list of the forensic investigations they have implemented as well as completed forensic reports.

Scott said a lot of recommendations have been made in these reports and they are not being implemented. “We need to find out about the response time in dealing with corruption,” she said.

“The next couple of days are going to be horrific; nevertheless, we have a job to do,” said Scott as she closed yesterday’s joint sitting of the finance, local government and standing committee on public accounts portfolio committees.

The nine municipalities called before the legislature are Msunduzi, Nkandla, Ulundi, Nongoma, uMkhanyakude District Muncipality, Nquthu, Ndaka, Okhahlamba and Buhlebezwe. It is expected that three municipalites will be appearing each day.

Nquthu has long been the bane of the legislature, appearing before the committee in previous years. Treasury staff said the challenge there has been that they could find no documents.

The head of municipal finances in treasury, Farhad Cassimjee, described Buhlebezwe (Ixopo) as the Achilles heel of his department. There have been two investigations and now there is a request for a third.

Joey Krishnan, general manager for municipal finance in the Local Government Department advised MPLs to interrogate the Buhlebezwe municipal staffers closely, saying they have not been co-operative with the national and provincial officials who went to help them.

Finance MEC Ina Cronje praised the uMkhanyakude District Municipaliy, saying the mayor approached her department for help.

“… it really works because it means they are committed to improving,” Cronje said.

Common problems that crop up in all the problem municipalities include corruption, poor debt management, cash-flow problems and poor financial reporting.

Annual reports are submitted on deadline, but the reports are inadequate and often incorrect . There is also weak council oversight. The MPLs were told of a lack of financial capacity in municipalities that is being addressed in the form of training, internships and learnerships.

Krishnan said a problem is that municipalities are not forthcoming in taking up the training offers.

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.