Makwetu: Auditors faced threats, intimidation over findings

2019-06-26 17:05
Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu addressing the media on Wednesday. (Jan Gerber/News24)

Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu addressing the media on Wednesday. (Jan Gerber/News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu has raised concerns about how his team faced threats and intimidation while conducting their audit work in different municipalities throughout the country.

Releasing the 2017/2018 municipal audit results in Pretoria on Wednesday, Makwetu said the team faced difficulties and that the audit environment became more "hostile with increased contestation of audit findings and pushbacks whereby our audit processes and the motives of our audit teams were questioned".

He said in some of the municipalities pressure was placed on audit teams to change conclusions in order to avoid negative audit outcomes or the disclosure of irregular expenditure.

"Instances of threats to and intimidation of our auditors were also experienced in most of the provinces," he said.

READ: Irregular expenditure in local govt remains high - Auditor-General

Makwetu also lambasted municipalities for not responding to the audit recommendations. The AGSA said some municipalities have also not implemented the programmes initiated by treasuries and cooperative governance departments to influence positive audit outcomes and service delivery initiatives.

Makwetu said leaders should set the tone for accountability and if "audit outcomes are not desired, energy should rather be directed at addressing the system relapses identified instead of coercing the auditors to change their conclusions". 

Makwetu highlighted major contributions to the accountability failures and regression in audit outcomes. He said leadership, senior management and officials failed to monitor effective systems and processes of internal control. 

"Where there is no accountability, municipality struggle or fail to meet their objectives. This in turn adversely affects the citizens who rely on municipalities for their service delivery," he said. 

The AGSA reported that 34% of municipalities couldn't balance their books, recording expenditure which exceeded their income - with the total deficit for these municipalities amounting to R5.8bn.

The AGSA also reported that the financial woes of local government also "weighed heavily" on municipal creditors.

"The impact of this inability to pay creditors was most evident in the huge sums owed for the provision of electricity and water to Eskom and the water boards, respectively." 

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    ag  |  kimi makwetu

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.