City ‘loses’ its assets

2018-07-09 16:00
Vehicles and air conditioners among Msunduzi's unverified assets.

Vehicles and air conditioners among Msunduzi's unverified assets. (File)

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Msunduzi Municipality has lost track of 3 750 movable assets, including vehicles and air conditioners, valued at more than R4,3 million.

City’s assets manager Sakhile Ngcongo said the asset verification result for the 2017/18 financial year “highlights weak internal controls” and “poor physical security controls”.

He said council should improve the access and exit security measures in all municipal offices in order to safeguard the City’s assets.

Ngcongo said a total of 35 236 assets with a carrying value of R151,1 million were confirmed during annual verification process between January and June.

A recent physical verification was also conducted to address the 2016/2017 audit finding raised by the auditor-general (AG) as there were 7 714 assets, with a carrying value of R68,8 million, that had not been verified last June.

Ngcongo said they have since been able to verify 3 964 assets, worth R64,4 million, of those mentioned in the AG’s report. These include 75 firearms, 25 cars as well as 90 trucks and bakkies.

Ngcongo recommended that the remainder of the assets be written off since they could not be verified.

Other assets written off by council last week include 2 573 items that had become unusable due to age or damage, 115 abandoned assets that had become scrap and 18 others that were stolen. Amongst the stolen items were two cars and 15 brush cutters.

Councillors expressed concern about the lack of will to follow up and investigate the stolen assets so that those responsible could be held accountable.

DA caucus leader Sibongiseni Majola said the number of the unverified assets is still too high and it does not make sense how 90 air conditioners could not be verified. “Air conditioners are mounted on the wall. How can you fail to verify something like that?”

ANC’s Sandile Dlamini said councillors should be shown case numbers for stolen assets and then kept abreast of the status of the police investigations.

ANC’s Mlungisi Zondi said all the municipal buildings have security guards so there needs to be a thorough investigation on whether they are not involved in the theft of municipal property.

Speaker Jabu Ngubo commended the unit for being able to verify the majority of the items that were raised in the AG’s report. She also supported the recommendation to write off the remainder of the assets to prevent another query.

“However, I must say that it makes no sense how some of things like vehicles go missing because there should be records on who last drove it.

“If someone comes into the municipal property and steals it then the security company must answer,” she said.

She said there seem to be a lack of supervision of the municipal’s assets and that cannot be allowed to continue.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  msunduzi municipality

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