Durban – There will be no performance bonuses or salary increments for senior managers at KwaZulu-Natal municipalities who performed poorly in the 2016/17 financial year, the provincial department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) said on Thursday.
"Performance bonuses should reflect the consequences. Those that have done wrong should be dealt with. You cannot expect to be rewarded for wrongdoing," said Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube.
Dube-Ncube told reporters at a press briefing in Durban that out of the 53 municipalities that submitted their financial statements to the Auditor-General on time, only seven municipalities received clean audits.
"The audit outcomes for 53 municipalities for 2016/2017 include seven unqualified audits with no findings – that is clean audits – 33 unqualified audits with findings, ten qualified audits, two adverse audit opinions and one audit disclaimer."
The Umzumbe, uMuziwabantu, Okhahlamba, King Cetshwayo district, uMhlathuze, uMhlabuyalingana and Ray Nkonyeni municipalities received clean audits.
"The newly established Ray Nkonyeni municipality received a clean audit even under challenging circumstances of a merger following the incorporation of the Hibiscus Coast and Ezinqoleni municipalities. This makes our chests swell with pride," she said.
Instability at municipal level
Dube-Ncube revealed that the Inkosi Langalibalele municipality did not submit its annual financial statements on time.
"Their audit opinion is still outstanding," she said.
Eleven municipalities received clean audits in the previous financial year.
Dube-Ncube said her department would ensure that there are consequences for those who had led to the province "incurring this negative trend".
"We are introducing a radical audit outcome strategy going forward. We vow to ensure that disciplinary actions are taken and that no salary increments or performance bonuses are paid to officials [who] achieved poor audit outcomes as well as their councillors for their lack of effective oversight," said Dube-Ncube.
She said some of the root causes of poor performance reported by the Auditor General included slow responses to improving key internal controls and addressing risk areas by senior municipal management and political leadership.
Poorly performing municipalities summoned
"We do have a problem of instability at municipal level that is caused by both inter- and intra-political instability within our municipalities. Political interference also contributed to some of the municipalities' financial performances," she said.
Prolonged vacancies in key management positions in municipalities and officials who deliberately or negligently ignore their duties and contravene legislation are also some of the root causes, she said.
Dube-Ncube said in one of the poorly performing municipalities it was found that 90% of the councillors were new appointments and 95% did not have matric.
She did not divulge the name of the municipality but said it would be made known once an investigation was concluded.
"This coming weekend we have summoned all those who achieved negative audit results and we will also be regularly engaging with all poorly performing municipalities to determine their support needs," she said.
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