A large majority of the country’s municipalities continue to disregard Auditor-General Kimi Makwethu’s recommendations, resulting in worsening financial positions, he has announced.
Makwethu made the revelation while releasing the 2017/18 Consolidated General Report on the Local Government Audit Outcomes in Pretoria on Wednesday. The AG audited 257 municipalities and 21 municipal entities during this financial year.
The report reveals that of the country’s 257 municipalities, only 18 (8%) received clean audits – a decline from the previous year’s 14%. About 12 of these municipalities were in the Western Cape, while KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and Eastern Cape each had one municipality with a clean audit.
Addressing reporters, Makwethu said: “Since the current local government administration took office, the governance issues affecting municipalities have consistently been flagged with them in various formats, including individualised meetings with the leadership and through the AG’s 2016/17 general report, but the latest set of results indicates that this constant advice has largely been ignored.”
According to the report, municipalities recorded a decreased irregular expenditure of R25 billion, compared to R29 billion in the previous year.
In the report, Makwethu notes that accountability in local government continues to decline.
“Of the audited municipalities, the audit outcomes of the 63 regressed while those of 22 improved. Only 18 municipalities managed to produce quality financial statements and performance reports, as well as complied with all key legislation … This is a regress from the 33 municipalities that received clean audits in the previous year,” Makwethu said.
The AG in his address