Mpumalanga municipal audit outcomes a "setback"

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Mpumalanga MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Pat Ngomane, has expressed disappointment at the recent municipal audit outcomes for the province.

Releasing the 2017/18 local government audit outcomes on Wednesday, Auditor-General Kimi Makwethu noted that only one of the province’s municipalities had improved its audit outcome from unqualified with findings to a clean audit.  Nine municipalities regressed from the prior year.

The main driver for the regression, Makwethu said, was the lack of sufficient and effective institutionalised internal controls, which resulted in an unstable control environment.

Ngomane said the audit outcomes were a setback for the province.

"After the encouraging results of 2016 during which Mpumalanga shown the most improvement amongst the provinces on municipal audit, the latest report for the 2017/18 financial year points to an unfortunate setback for our efforts,” he said.

However, he said the province would be relentless in its pursuit to assist municipalities to improve accountability and reporting during the upcoming audit process.

"We will engage with all relevant role-players at all levels of the provincial government system to get to the bottom on persistent challenges of non-compliance with the laws of our country and identified gaps in the control environment," said Ngomane.

The Provincial Treasury has since April this year dispatched multi-disciplinary teams of officials to assist municipalities in addressing issues that the Auditor-General raised in the management letters to each municipality.

Ngomane reiterated that the management of each municipality must take responsibility for the audit outcomes and display a sufficient level of ethics and accountability akin to the position of responsibility bestowed to them.

“Ensuring that municipalities are effectively managed and that resources are not misused or misappropriated is a task that cannot be taken lightly more so in a tough economic situation as this and where our people long for quality services,” said the MEC.

The Provincial Treasury has commenced the process to respond to the audit findings. Ngomane is also expected to announce a set of measures that the department will implement to further support targeted municipalities this year. –