Service delivery levels in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro should continue improving following the graduation of 24 learners as Accounting Technicians South Africa (AT(SA)) with Certificates in Local Government Accounting, according to AT(SA) general manager Nadine Kater.
Speaking at the MBAT graduation ceremony hosted in the Port Elizabeth City Hall, Kater said “service delivery depends on proper administration”.
Funds need to be correctly allocated in order to ensure that they are spent in the right areas as identified in the budget.
“It was recognised that this qualification could play a vital role towards this institution achieving a clean audit going forward,” says Adriaan Ferreira: Senior Director: Office of the Treasury at the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality.
Accounting and book-keeping are identified as “scarce skills” within municipalities.
“Already we can see the difference, as those participating learners are now in a position to grasp their respective individual roles and the importance of their functions within the bigger financial environment within which they operate,” he says.
“The advantage of the Local Government Accounting courses is that they are purpose-designed for municipalities, and are flexible so as to ensure there is minimum disruption to the running of the different departments while staff are working through the very practical course,” says Henk Diedericks, academic principal of the MBAT training and development company, which is a registered private FET college.
MBAT has run AT SA Local Government Accounting Certificate training for over 500 students from local municipalities in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Northern Cape and Free State since 2009.
“Municipalities report that the advantages of AT(SA) qualifications are that staff become more competent, which means they make fewer errors, need less time to complete routine financial documents, require less supervision, and contribute towards the municipality having a clean audit” says Diedericks.
Kater encouraged the newly-qualified learners to register as professionals with AT(SA).
Registered technicians sign a code which commits them to ethical conduct. Those who are involved in unethical behaviour can be disciplined by the professional body.
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