Call for more partnerships to improve local government financial management

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

KwaZulu-Natal Finance MEC, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, has emphasised the need for strategic partnerships between government and the private sector in order for municipalities to improve capacity to manage their budgets.

“It is now more crucial than ever for us, as provincial and local government, to continue to work in partnership with various private sector stakeholders in order to learn from each other so that we can serve our communities better,” Dube-Ncube said.

She made the call during a high-level financial performance and knowledge sharing engagement on finance and accounting protocols for local government held on Tuesday.

The virtual engagement, attended by Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) and accountants of various municipalities, was held in partnership with the South African Institute for Chartered Accountants, and the Accounting Standard Boards.

Dube-Ncube, who is also a leader of Government Business, said the engagement was purely meant to assist municipalities to improve their financial management, and “this will allow them to deliver services much better.”

“We need to have municipalities that demonstrate a clean bill of health in their finances because this attracts investment into their communities,” Dube-Ncube said.

Despite the challenges facing the municipal environment, the MEC said Provincial Treasury continues to commit itself to supporting municipalities and promoting good financial governance in the public sector.

She said in terms of Section 5 of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA), and general functions of National and Provincial Treasuries, the KZN Provincial Treasury performs an oversight and monitoring function, but also “provides technical support and guidance to help municipalities by instilling effective financial management practices”.

“At a micro level, KZN Provincial Treasury focuses on providing structured support, in conjunction with training and transfer of skills at specifically targeted municipalities in the province.

“At a macro level, the intention is also to provide support through educational platforms such as CFO forums and frequent training seminars on relevant financial and governance matters,” Dube-Ncube said.

She reiterated that the department wants to enhance the type of support it gives to municipalities because they are at the coalface of service delivery.

As the country moves into the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR), Dube-Ncube said municipalities must look at using technological mechanisms as a means to advance and effectively address challenges in the constantly evolving municipal environment.

“Municipalities are strongly urged to make a concerted effort to continuously keep abreast of technical updates, changes and new reforms, and ensure effective capacity building at all levels, consequently improving financial management and ultimately service delivery. A well-served community creates economic momentum, which promotes sustainable growth and development,” the MEC said. – SAnews.gov.za

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