No clean bill of health

2016-02-03 06:00

A CLEAN financial bill of health for the Mangaung Metro in Bloemfontein remains a dream – but the financial management of the metro still seems to be improving.

In the audit report for the fiscal year 2014-’15, tabled on Thursday (28/01), the auditor general (AG), for the second year in a row, awarded the metro an unqualified report – but with findings.

This means, among other things, that

the municipality struggled to produce financial statements without material misstatements and relied on auditors to detect errors and omissions in order to correct them.

According to the report, the unauthorised expenditure for 2014-’15 totalled more than R996 million and fruitless and wasteful expenditure R213 967.

Irregular expenditure – referring to money spent without legislation being followed – by the metro and Centlec together totalled R41 million.

Financial losses incurred by the metro, partly as a result of the write-off of uncol-lectable debt, which totalled R86,4 million, included water losses to the value of R167,6 million and electricity distribution losses of R154,2 million.

Personnel of the AG’s office congratulated the metro with the co-operation they experienced and expressed their gratitude.

Zolile Mangcotywa, chairperson and chief whip of the ANC caucus in the metro council, expressed the ANC’s satisfaction with the audit results.

He said there was an improvement in the way the metro reported on its finances, in comparison to the previous year.

This was in spite of huge challenges, including an increasingly difficult economic environment with increasing levels of debt and dwindling income, like government allowances.

Mangcotywa accused opposition parties of playing for the gallery because it is election time and not giving the ANC-governed Mangaung council due credit for the good work being done.

He emphasised that service delivery on ground level has also improved in accor-dance with the improvement of the audit outcomes over the last years.

The metro received a qualified report with findings in 2012-’13, and a disclaimer in 2011-’12 and 2010-’11, indicating an improvement over the past two years.

The AG report was as usual referred to the oversight committee for a period of 60 days, after which it will be discussed by the council.

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