eThekwini, Cape Town have best financial governance: iLIVE
The release of the auditor- general's report on the 2010/2011 municipal audits has sparked important comment and debate. Unfortunately, much of it has focused on the negative. But if you look at the big picture, you will find a far more nuanced situation, with areas of real excellence and areas of real corruption, within and between municipalities.
Overall, after 10 years, there is much that has been done, but also an awful lot that remains to be done. The need for quicker and more effective intervention by the government when things are going awry must be welcomed. I strongly believe, however, that it should not be provincial governments doing so, as often they simply do not have the experience or capacity. And, as history shows us, some of the provincial governments are themselves a major part of the problem.
Contrast that with the National Treasury, which stands out internationally as having a clear understanding of local government in South Africa and what should be done to fix the problems.
Just compare its website to any other in the world and you will find that it has its finger on the financial health of our governance, continually refining processes and methodically working with local governments to get the best balance between the needs for service delivery and that of good governance. It needs more effective mechanisms and a change in our constitution to give the treasury powers to intervene effectively and efficiently.
The AG's report shows that eThekwini and Cape Town have by far the best record of financial governance of all metros, having unqualified audits, and complying largely with the requirements of the financial audits.
During the 2010/2011 year, eThekwini's situation improved while Cape Town's had worsened. As the former accounting officer of eThekwini, I can only commend the outstanding people who serve as officials and achieved such magnificent results.