Democratic Alliance (DA) Provincial Leader Jacques Smalle has labelled the recently tabled qualified, adverse and disclaimer audit opinions of Limpopo’s municipalities obtained during the past financial year a crime against the people of Limpopo. None of the municipalities and entities in the province achieved a clean audit in the 2013/14 financial year.
Already in December last year Polo-kwane Observer reported on the South African Local Government Association (Salga) in Limpopo celebrating improved audit results for the 2013/14 financial year. Even if one municipality was not getting an unqualified opinion it remained a concern to them, but still they were celebrating those who performed well, Salga Provincial Executive Officer Thapelo Matlala was quoted saying in an exclusive interview with Polokwane Observer.
Of the municipalities and entities audited, 46% received unqualified opinions with findings, 30% qualified opinions with findings, 18% disclaimers with findings and 3% adverse opinions with findings. The audits of a further 3% of institutions were outstanding.
In a statement in response to the Auditor-General’s report on local government audit outcomes of Limpopo, Smalle ascribed it to a lack of consequences for transgressions and political leadership in the province. Smalle continued stating that weak financial controls had rendered the municipal system vulnerable to widespread abuse and often a loss of adequate audit trails to substantiate transactions. “Poor systems and lack of supply chain management in Limpopo municipalities remain a challenge, with the irregular expenditure incurred of about R818 million this year.”