Richard Mdakane, chairperson of the ANC Study Group on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, said, “We are delighted with the release of the report because it shows growing improvement in the critical area of public finance management by our municipalities.”
“We welcome the fact that 198 (58%) of all 335 municipalities and municipal entities received unqualified audit opinions for their financial statements. This is up from 165 (49%) last year,” Mdakane said. The audi showed that out of 335 municipalities and municipal entities that were audited, 103 improved, 194 stayed constant, 27 regressed, 10 were outstanding and two new municipalities were included.
Mdakane mentioned municipalities in Limpopo and remarked on their improved performance, which has improved from dismal performances in 2012/2013 where only one auditee obtained an unqualified audit. This, Mdakane said, improved in 2013/2014 to 15 unqualified audit outcomes KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, he said, were to be commended for their continued start performance. These provinces, said Mdakane, continue to attain “clean audits and this is to be commended as well.”
Concerned about irregular expenditure, Mdakane noted that it “remains unacceptably high at R11.4 billion, with 74 auditees being accountable for this.” He said that this issue “will be an area of focus for us as the ANC in Parliament because we would like to see all the laws and prescripts related to the spending of public funds being adhered to without any fail.”
Mdakane said the ANC is encouraged by the audit outcomes. “We would like to encourage the minister and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to continue implementing the back to basics approach, which is about instilling strict discipline in the area of financial management and performance,” he said.