The City of Cape Town has fallen off the clean audit wagon, according to auditor-general (AG) Kimi Makwetu’s annual report on municipalities for the 2016/17 financial year.
This is the first time in at least a decade the metro did not make the list of municipalities that received clean audits, despite the Western Cape having the largest concentration of municipalities with clean audits at 70%.
Cape Town was one of six municipalities that regressed in the year under review, the report said. The changes after the local government elections caused instability at council level and in key senior positions, but the regressions could mostly be attributed to failure to heed the recommendations of the AG, according to the report.
Shadow minister for cooporative governance and traditional affairs Kevin Mileham said that political leadership was to blame for the city’s regression, but added that none of the country’s metros had received clean audits this time.
“We need to look at what the AG is saying about the City of Cape Town and the cause of that, among other things, is the issue around reporting to council, and we need to look at what management could have or should have done better,” he added.
The city has been mired in controversy surrounding embattled mayor Patricia de Lille, who only managed to cling to her position through the courts.
The DA fired her from the party last week after months of attempts to oust her, including two motions of no confidence and opening a criminal case and two disciplinary cases against her.
Earlier this year, a fake report purportedly by the auditor-general was circulated by DA members suggesting the metro had received a qualified audit and cited financial mismanagement in the city, laying the blame on De Lille.
The AG’s latest report may well strengthen the hand of her enemies in the DA and in council.