Nelson Mandela Bay gets yet another thumbs down from auditor-general

28 December 2018 - 15:59 By ROCHELLE DE KOCK
Auditor-general Kimi Makwetu has given the municipality its seventh consecutive qualified audit opinion.
Auditor-general Kimi Makwetu has given the municipality its seventh consecutive qualified audit opinion.
Image: Moeletsi Mabe

Better, but still not good enough.

The Nelson Mandela Bay municipality’s poor asset management and systems, shoddy record-keeping and inability to get a proper handle on its water and electricity losses have earned the city its seventh consecutive qualified audit opinion.

The opinion from auditor-general Kimi Makwethu covers the 2017/2018 financial year — from July 2017 to June 2018 — when the city was being run by the then DA-led coalition.

While a full report detailing the reasons for the qualified opinion will be released to the council only in January, acting city boss Peter Neilson said the municipality had yet again been rapped over the knuckles for its troubled supply chain management department.

He said the tender records were still in a shambles as documents were missing, making it difficult to give a true account of the extent of irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

For the previous financial year, the audit qualification was as a result of the city’s slack management of its property, plant and equipment, which meant it could not correctly account for the value of its assets and infrastructure used to deliver services.

Poor financial records and an R11.5bn irregular expenditure bill dating back to 2002 also resulted in the qualified audit in the 2016/2017 financial year.

Neilson said the situation had improved somewhat, but there was still more work to do to get an unqualified audit.

“We’ve done much better to patch up some of the wrongs in the past, so we’re getting closer to our goal of fixing the problems,” he said.

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