ANC to win the Western Cape back with lies?

2013-08-17 11:43

South African politics are a very interesting game, my Public Administration lecturer says that he does not watch television soapies as he finds all the drama from our politicians, the real life stories; from Gupta’s to Vavi’s, Dina Pule’s and the like.

The stories get more interesting during election time. Yesterday I read a story on this platform, the article was originally titled “The City of Cape Town’s Qualified Audit Report Exposed by ANC”, today I see that the word ‘Qualified’ has been replaced with ‘unqualified’.

Hasane (2013, para.15) claimed that the Auditor General (AG) had issued the City of Cape Town with a Qualifed Audit Opinion. This is a big lie, because since the Democratic Alliance took control of the City of Cape Town, the municipality has never received a Qualified Audit Opinion from the Auditor General.

Hasane (2013, para.6) cited an ANC Councillor who claims that the DA governed Metro could not account for over R1 billion in the 2012-2013 financial year. I wondered how he knew this, and searched the AG’s website to verify the claim on the 2012-2013 report. There was nothing on the website, so I asked DA councillor Brett Herron if he had a copy, he told me that the 2012-2013 report doesn’t exist.

Because I have difficulty believing anything politicians say, I wrote to the AG just to make sure that it does not exist. In less than an hour, the AG replied with confirmation that their last report on the Cape Town Metro is for the 2011-2012 financial year and it was unqualified with findings.

I then asked Hasane where he got his information from, he referred me to media statement issued by the AG a few days ago. The AG had been commenting on the 2011-2012 financial year in which he stated that “none of the eight metropolitan municipalities obtained a clean audit” (Nombembe, 2013, para.10). I suspect Hasane and co were confused with the terms the AG uses. Hasane tweeted that ‘Clean=unqualified’ even though Nombembe (2013) had explained what clean means on the media statement.

A clean audit according Nombembe (2013, para.2) is “achieved when the financial statements are unqualified and there are no reported audit findings in respect of either reporting on predetermined objectives or compliance with laws and regulations”. I assume Hasane thought that if it is not 'clean', then it must be qualified.

In the case of the City of Cape Town, the audit opinion for the financial year in question was unqualified with findings. The findings were that City of Cape Town had awarded tenders to staff members and one to a supplier who is in the service of an organ of the state, this is against treasury regulations. This is what Hasane should have criticised the DA governed metro for, not making up qualified audit opinions that seem to exist only on his head. The staff members are not DA politicians, ordinary council staff members.

They ought to have been informed that they cannot do business with they municipality they work for, it is against Supply Chain Management regulations. This is different to unauthorised/irregular expenditure that happens in many of the ANC governed municipalities. And of course it does not excuse what the Cape metro failed to detect. At least there are consequences for such when detected where the DA governs, but the AG will tell you that there are often no consequences for financial mismanagement in many of the municipalities that are governed by the ANC. No unauthorised/ irregular/wasteful/fruitless expenditure was detected in Cape Town.

Then there was another claim that Cape Town Deputy Mayor, Ian Nielson said that the council spent R55 million on Adderley Street MyCiti bus feeder stations but are nowhere to be found on Adderley Street (Hasane, 2013, para.12). This is probably because Hasane was looking for them on the wrong street. Many are already operational around Adderley Street and other areas such as Long Street and Somerset Road. When a new project is approved, a contractor gets establishment fees to get started with the work and claim for work done as the project progresses. Perhaps Hasane needs to understand that you don't need to build a house then claim for payment, you build a foundation, and claim for it, then build walls, and claim payment for them. Plans to build the stations during the 2011-2012 financial year, doesn't it make sense that the plans would be included in the 2012-2013 financial year as MyCiti bus roll-out is an ongoing process that was initiated before the World Cup? When I pointed out to Hasane that he had lied to his readers about the Cape Town Metro getting a qualified audit opinion, he maintained that he did not lie.

This reminded me of how ANC 2011 Mayoral candidate Tony Ehrenreich lied about bicycle lanes being built only where the rich white people live. This was far from the truth because we have such lanes in Khayelitsha, Delft, Nyanga and so on… very few rich white people live there. Tony probably thought he could lie his way to the Mayoral post.

It would seem that the young comrades are also mastering the habits of their seniors, lying to the public.

I am no political analyst guru, but I know for sure that it will take a lot more than lies to win back the supporters who voted the ANC out of the Western Cape government. Those supporters have found a warm, loving caring home in the DA if such exists in politics. Because if you looked at election results in the Western Cape, it would be clear that the DA keeps growing whilst the ANC’s support continues to decline. So the likes of Hasane and Ehrenreich can lie to the voters all they want, once such lies are exposed, they serve only to convince those who used to vote ANC and now vote DA, that they made the right choice.

If Hasane wants to expose qualified audits, he ought to look at many of the ANC governed municipalities. He won’t have to search hard to find one. Start in Limpopo, where the ANC gets over 80% of the vote during elections, he is bound to find that 93% of the municipalities there got qualified/disclaimer/adverse audit opinions from the AG in the 2011-2012 financial year. He won’t do that, because making up stories about the DA governed Cape suits him better.

His comrades in the SACP’s Cape Town branch joined Hasane in condemning the 'imagined' fraud and corruption in the Cape Metro. If the DA had any evidence of fraudulent activities committed by anyone, especially in the ANC, it would have done more that singing and dancing about it, it would be before a court of law by now. Because the DA believes that public money ought to be spent on the public, if is found that the money was not spent the way it should be, then there must be consequences for such. So why has Hasane and co not taken action against fraud and corruption? Because they are doing what Tony did in 2011, lie about your opponent and hope you win elections.

Then Hasane goes on to say that municipalities in the country face similar challenges, of course they do. But good governance solves most of these challenges. If only the incompetent thieving lot would stop stealing public money that is meant to provide essential services, our beloved country would be much better.

This is what sets a DA governed municipality and an ANC governed municipality apart. The management of public money, or the mismanagement of it. Many of the ANC governed municipalities receive qualified audits such as the Johannesburg Metro which has received qualified audit opinions since 2009. Top marks for consistency, and Hasane is not so consistent in his criticism as he focused on the DA. Shows you he cares more about making up stories than how public money is managed.

So the next time Hasane makes a claim on his blog, you will have to wonder if it is true or not as some psychologists will tell you that the best way to predict a person's future behaviour is to study their past.

Brace yourself South Africa as more and more lies will be told, all for your votes. It is election time mos.

References

Hasane, E. (2013) The City of Cape Town's Qualified Audit Report Exposed by ANC. Retrieved 15th August, 2013, from http://voices.news24.com/esethu-hasane/2013/08/the-city-of-cape-towns-qualified-audit-report-exposed/ *NOTE: News24 Voices allows authors to edit posts long after they were published hence the difference in the title*

Nombembe, T. (2013). Auditor General buoyed by local government leaders whose commitment has resulted in their entities’ improved audit results. Retrieved 16th August, 2013, from http://www.agsa.co.za/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=aG7P6Oq7WBE%3d&tabid=99&mid=860

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