Riyaz Patel

Parliament’s Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) says the Mogalakwena Local Municipality appears to be unfazed by the current and “serious” governance challenges within the municipality.

This attitude, the Committee said, has a “great potential of rendering the municipality in a perpetual crisis.”

This emerged after the committee met with the five municipalities with the highest irregular expenditure in the 2017/2018 financial year.

The committee’s concerns arise from the “seeming indifference” to the issues raised by the Auditor General in the municipal audit.

Further cause for concern is the the fact that the Municipal Public Accounts Committee is dysfunctional, the Committee said.

“Generally it cannot be business as usual when the municipality has incurred more than R1.7 billion in irregular and wasteful expenditure.

As a result, the committee took a resolution to have a separate meeting with the municipality to address the challenges at Mogalakwena Local Municipality before the end of this term,” said Committee chair China Dodovu.

Generally, referring to all five municipalities, the “lack of appetite for meaningful consequence management” against those who are wrong,” is

The committee decried the onset of “more investigations even after reports by the Auditor General which provide clear proof of wrongdoing” as per the prescripts of the Municipal Finance Management Act.

These prolonged investigations, the committee said, cost the municipalities more money which should be directed to service delivery.

The Committee are also furious over the decision by the OR Tambo District Municipality to write off over R3.1 billion in irregular expenditure while no one was held accountable for the irregular expenditure.

On Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality, the Committee expressed its dissatisfaction that the municipality had implemented only one out of 28 recommendations of the audit action plan.

“This does not create the impression that the municipality is concerned by the R12.379 in irregular expenditure, and that shows disregard for the Audit Opinion.”

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