Dukwana will act against overspending

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The Free State Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) MEC, Mxolisi Dukwana, will hold a meeting with the Auditor General (AG) tomorrow, following the office’s damning findings on municipalities in the province.

The AG found this week that municipalities across the province have continued to spend taxpayers’ money unnecessarily, with irregular spending rising by almost R2 billion. Irregular expenditure increased from R7.63 billion to R9.18 billion.

Auditor General Tsakani Maluleke blamed the rot on public accounts committees that do not carry out ad hoc investigations. The AG further found that the Free State had wasted R254 million of taxpayers’ money on consultants to improve financial results.

Municipalities such as Maluti-A-Phofung, Masilonyana and Tokologo have failed to trace the money spent by the municipalities.

Dukwana spokesman Sello Dithebe said the department will take the necessary steps to ensure that all steps recommended in the audit findings are implemented immediately, “without fear, favor or prejudice.”

“In particular, the seven municipalities in the Free State that have not submitted their financial statements, as well as the excessive use of consultants to meet the constitutional and legal obligations of all municipalities, will be followed up with plans. practical and pragmatic to correct this untenable reprehensible situation and ensure the management of the consequences.

“MEC Dukwana strongly believes that there is no place for crime in our municipalities, but for effective, efficient and sustainable service delivery and social and economic development in our urban and rural settlements that fosters better quality of life for all.

Dukwana held a meeting Friday with the department head and senior management, to chart a way forward for municipalities across the province.

He will hold a meeting tomorrow with the AG’s office “to reflect in depth on the audit findings of the Office of the Auditor General and chart the way forward.”

The national picture also indicates a deterioration in audit results. The AG found that only 61 of the 257 municipalities in the 2020/21 audit report perform better than in the 2016/17 audit report, while 56 of them perform worse.

More worrying is that only 16% of municipalities in the country have received positive audits, or 41 municipalities out of 257.

The AG data comes just days after Ratings Afrika warned that the local government sector could collapse completely.

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Bongani Mdakane

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