Eastern Cape councillors to answer for dismal audits

ANC councillors from all 45 Eastern Cape municipalities have been summoned to a meeting by the provincial leadership about their dismal audits.

Provincial secretary Oscar Mabuyane said the meeting was scheduled for Monday, and all 108 ANC councillors would be addressed in the presence of the provincial executive committee and regional leaders, the Dispatch Online reported today.

“Our main concern is poor audit outcomes,” Mabuyane was quoted as saying.

“We want to tell the councillors, in no uncertain terms, that their continued interference with administrative processes is unacceptable.”

Not a single Eastern Cape municipality received a clean audit for 2011/12, and infighting within councils was highlighted as the leading cause by Auditor-General Terence Nombembe.

Earlier this month, the Dispatch reported that municipalities blew R5.1 billion in unauthorised, irregular and wasteful expenditure in the 2011/12 financial year – more than double the amount squandered the previous year.

Nombembe reportedly told Premier Noxolo Kiviet that councillors who lacked the will or skill to manage state funds were bringing local government down in the Eastern Cape.

The ANC in the province identified several municipal hot spots and admitted that service delivery was being held up by councillors’ infighting.

In an attempt to deal with factions, the party has made some major reshuffles in at least five municipalities – Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, Lukhanji, Mbizana, Mbhashe and Mnquma.

More than 65 ANC councillors have been charged by the party this year and, of these, 45 have been sentenced.

“So far we have been found wanting,” said Mabuyane.

“We can’t have ANC councillors doing things as they please, as if there is no political leadership. It’s high time we drew the line.”

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