Audits: Less exaggeration, urges official

2012-07-27 22:10

Johannesburg - The auditor general's report on municipal finances should be examined instead of the outcomes being exaggerated, Salga chairperson Thabo Manyoni said on Friday.

"A biased picture of [a] virtual collapse of financial management in many local governments, including the major cities, is being painted," the SA Local Government Association's Manyoni said.

"But a closer examination of the AG's findings and a more rigorous understanding of the nature of these audits, and their terminology, paints a different picture."

Terence Nombembe's report was released on Monday, and indicated that only five percent of the country's 343 municipalities got clean audits.

The report revealed that none of the country's metros received clean audits. It showed that procurement to the value of R3.5bn could not be audited because the required information was not available.

Manyoni said local government was aware it faced problems. Some municipalities had a long way to go before they could reassure residents they were managing their finances properly and that public money was being well spent, he said.

"But local government's ability to manage their finances and meet stringent financial control requirements is by no means as bleak as the initial reaction to the AG's report might suggest."

Manyoni said an improvement could be seen in the state of municipal finances. Salga was conducting an assessment of audit committees to identify ways to improve oversight in municipalities.

"The key challenge now is to build on our successes, learning lessons from those municipalities which have been able to turn their situation around," he said.

Manyoni said municipalities needed to produce high quality financial records that demonstrated good governance and sound financial management.

According to Nombembe's report six new municipalities joined the clean audit category, taking the total to 13. These were in KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, and the Western Cape.

None of the country's metros received clean audits, while 13% of municipalities did not submit financial statements in time for auditing.

  • blou.johnny - 2012-07-27 22:42

    ...incompetent and useless... ...but they are paid huge salaries and massive performance bonuses for wasting tax-payers monies.. .....fools...

  • jim.binnie.1 - 2012-07-27 23:28

    Mr Manyoni - before you talk more nonsense trying to defend your compatriots go and talk to the AG and find out exactly what an audit is ( to determine compliance with regulations) and also what compliance your people achieved. We do NOT need your apologies - we DO need people who are properly skilled and are prepared to be accountable for their actions to do the job in local government. If this is not sorted out very soon the "Arab spring" in North Africa is going to have a "second coming" in South Africa.

      kevin.watson.7906 - 2012-07-28 16:36

      Manyoni seems to purposely ignore that fact that it is not the Council Officials money. It is the rate payers and service receivers money. They are stealing by omission or comission from the poor. Heads should role and the guilty should be jailed.

  • koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-07-28 00:16

    For years now I’ve wondered why councils need Salga? Councils pay a hell of a lot of money to an institution that basically consists of old disgruntled councillors that brings little to nothing to the table. They have all these mandates from government (or so they say) but nothing ever happens or improves for that matter. Why any council would want to associate with Salga is beyond me and to pay them for nothing is mindboggling.

  • Mike - 2012-07-28 05:33

    Get real Manyoni, who are you trying to fool?? The ANC cadres are looting this country into oblivion.

  • traci.harvey1 - 2012-07-28 06:17

    An auditor does not issue a qualified report lightly! A qualified report means that there are material (ie: significant!) items that could not be verified! There should be public outrage at this! We all work very hard for our money and we all pay our taxes. It's an insult to the taxpayers of this country to tell us that the qualified audit reports should not be exaggerated! The government should take these qualified audit reports seriously. I suggest no increases or bonuses for the municipalities that received qualified audits until their audits are clean!

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-07-28 12:22

      It is worse Traci. Have you met some of these Auditors? Have you sat down with some of them and listen how they read questions to you from a piece of paper? Have you ever looked into their eyes after giving them an answer and struggle to look past that glazed over "I have no idea what you just said" look?

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-07-29 14:54

      Our taxes could be halved if there was no corruption.

  • danie.smit.587 - 2012-07-28 07:20

    What examination he want ? Adding stolen money up and telling the ANC voters what the ANC, its office bearers and deployed cadres stole from each ANC voter, and compare it to adding up What DA council and its racist office bearers stole from each voter. Allowing the voters to in rand in sent who they will vote for next time.

  • mokgadi.deborah - 2012-07-28 09:22

    These guys think they can fool us forever with excuses. I am an Accountant by profession and my job requires me to account for every cent the company spends. Everyone that uses the company's money must be accountable.

  • peter.fraser.92754 - 2012-07-28 11:31

    The end is nigh. Ons word al weer ge-nigh.

  • louis.langenhoven - 2012-07-28 11:32

    "The key challenge now is to build on our successes" - mr Manyoni mr Manyoni- ever the optimist are you- focussing on the 5% and choosing to close your eyes to the 95%- you are a better man than me- I would have decided to close shop and run! (but then I am not in the business of stealing other people's money...)

      Nigel Cupido - 2012-07-28 11:49

      Notice how no one is held accountable...? Heads surely must me naive.

      koos.vandermerwe.75 - 2012-07-28 12:19

      @Nigel: In cANCers terms there is no accountability, only promotion or re-deployment.

  • jivan.gordhan - 2012-07-28 13:23

    The day to day functioning of any institution that is handling public finances, requires qualified people for the jobs at various levels. If the government employs a person with a petrol attandant's experience on the job of a management post of recording daily financial transactions of a complex nature that is managed by a qualified management accountant, the result is what we experience today throughout the country. Following my statement, I wonder what qualifications do the politicians have who are top bosses in the municipalities? The answer is simple . Employ wrong people for the right jobs.

  • vernon.samuel.7 - 2012-07-28 15:05

    And herein lies the nub of the problem. Over-rated, overpaid, under-performing officials calling for an acceptance of mediocrity. These idiots who use terms like \challenges\ instead of the more apt \crises\. Please just shut up and do something about the problems instead of constantly making excuses for them. Twat.

  • derrico.heus - 2012-07-28 16:22

    Just tell the truth about the audits. They were not bad, they were not very bad, they are a disgrace. They do point out again and again, jobs for mates and not jobs on merit do this country no good at all. Bee is a joke and the world knows it.

  • Lacrimose - 2012-07-28 21:07

    Audits - Less incompetence, theft and an utter disregard for the oath of office - urge the citizens who pay your salary

  • Linda - 2012-07-31 17:37

    How about less theft, corruption, incompetence and arrogance! Of course apartheid is to blame! Not the fact that the ANC appoint corrupt and incompetent cadres who are barely able to run a bath let alone a city - and who are employed because of the political party they support and not because they have any skills or experience. The only thing they know how to do is award themselves exorbitant salaries and perks - the rest is irrelevant to them because no matter how useless or corrupt they will never be held accountable because that is "unAfrican".

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