Failing municipal managers will pay from their pockets, warns KZN MEC
KwaZulu-Natal co-operative governance and traditional affairs (Cogta) MEC Sipho Hlomuka has warned that senior public officials who fail their municipalities will have pay out of their pockets for wasteful expenditure.
He said that no bonuses should be paid to officials in municipalities which received a disclaimer or an adverse opinion from the auditor-general.
The no-bonus will also apply to officials of municipalities where there have been no tangible improvements.
Mayors and municipal managers found to have wasted taxpayers' money by failing to apply due diligence could pay from their own pockets.
Hlomuka's warning comes after the release of the latest audit results for the 2017-2018 financial year which have revealed that six KZN municipalities had adverse findings and one a disclaimer from the auditor-general.
But 34 municipalities received unqualified audits, including one with a clean audit.
"We congratulate the majority of our municipalities that have received unqualified audit outcomes. This is a reflection on the hard work by their officials and such hard work must be acknowledged and encouraged," said Hlomuka.
"Ideally, we would like this success repeated and improved upon in the audit outcomes for the 2018-2019 financial year."
Hlomuka has urged all municipalities to analyse the auditor-general's findings and implement immediate consequence management measures where required.
He added that in practice, no bonuses should be paid to officials in municipalities where the latest audit outcome had a disclaimer or an adverse opinion, or where there had been no tangible improvement.
"We would also like to see a situation where mayors and municipal managers who have failed to apply due diligence will face having all wasted public funds recovered from them," said Hlomuka.
"It is clear that all rules have to be enforced if they are to yield the desired outcomes. We need to get serious about improving our municipal audit outcomes across the board."
The Cogta MEC said his department would continue helping municipalities to improve their audit outcomes through targeted support programmes and regular engagements with all poorly performing municipalities in the province.
"All departmental support programmes will be reviewed in light of the latest audit outcomes," he said.
Hlomuka has warned that repeated failure where there was no evidence of improvement in municipalities would not be condoned.