Despite Premier Stan Mathabatha’s repeated warnings to municipalities that negative audit outcomes will be met with consequences, Limpopo municipalities could again not obtain clean audits from the Auditor-General (AG) for the 2016/17 financial year.
Releasing his report regarding the audit outcomes in Cape Town yesterday (Wednesday), Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu revealed that no municipalities in Limpopo received clean audit outcomes and that irregular, unauthorised and fruitless and wasteful expenses amounted to R1,317 bn, R1,068 bn and R0,243 bn, respectively.
Capricorn and Sekhukhune district municipalities and Greater Tzaneen, Lephalale, Makhuduthamaga, Maruleng, Molemole, Musina and Thulamela are the nine municipalities which received unqualified opinions with findings, while 16 municipalities obtained that status during the previous year.
Opposed to the previous year’s 12 municipalities which received qualified opinions with findings, Waterberg District Municipality and Bela-Bela, Elias Motsoaledi, Blouberg, Ephraim Mogale, Collins Chabane, Fetakgomo Tubatse, Lepelle Nkumpi, Greater Letaba and Polokwane local municipalities brought the total to 10 for 2016/17. Makhado received an adverse with findings opinion. Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality and Mopani and Vhembe district municipalities received disclaimers with findings, opposed to two municipalities receiving disclaimers during the 2015/16 financial year.
In his report, the AG says the province is “characterised by complacency with unqualified financial statements being seen as good enough, underperformance as no action is taken to improve, and poor performers with high levels of transgressions and no consequences. “This took place notwithstanding the Premier’s commitment in the previous year to implement stricter consequences. Accountability failures are also evident in inadequate infrastructure development and financial management, which have an impact on the delivery of services,” the AG stated.
Story: BARRY VILJOEN