Limpopo councils spend most money on finance depts, DA wants probe

DA Mayor at Modimolle-Mookgophong Local Municipality Marlene Van Staden seated next to DA Limpopo Provincial Leader Jacques Smalle | Image: Twitter

Limpopo municipalities spent 54% of their wage bill on financial departments, apart from paying tens of millions to consultants, the party charged.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) in Limpopo wants MEC for cooperative governance, housing and traditional affairs Basikopo Makamu to conduct urgent skills audits in all the municipal finance departments.

The province has 27 district and local municipalities whose day-to-day functions are overseen by Makamu’s department.

The party’s call for urgent skills audit comes after Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu’s municipal audit outcomes for 2018-2019 released last week showed that Limpopo municipalities spent 54% of their wage bill on their financial departments.

“This percentage is recorded as the highest nationally. The province was followed by North West, which spent 45% of its wage bill on municipal finance departments,” the DA said in a statement. “Only Gauteng spent more on consultants, amounting to just over R341 million.”

According to the Makwetu’s report, the biggest spenders on their finance departments in the province were:

  • Mopani District – 172%;
  • Mogalakwena – 144%; and
  • Polokwane – 128%.

DA provincial leader and spokesperson for cooperative governance Jacques Smalle said the three municipalities also spent the most on consultants, with Polokwane paying R69.6 million; Mogalakwena R54 million; and the Mopani district municipality R34 million.

“The DA is concerned that this huge wage bill … leaves little to make appointments that can directly impact grassroots service delivery,” said Smalle.

Acting spokesperson for the Limpopo government, Kenny Mathivha, said according to the auditor-general’s report, Limpopo was making progress to improve financial management systems.

“To my knowledge, municipalities not doing well financially in the province are those governed by the DA such as Modimolle/ Mookgophong and Thabazimbi,” said Mathivha.

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