The African National Congress is starting its “dispute resolution process” in a bid to address the a.
ONLY three of the 283 municipalities have their books in order, auditor-general Terence Nombembe said yesterday.
Nombembe told the Cape Town Press Club that only Cape Town, eThekwini and Johannesburg had their books in order. "This means that only one percent of local governments have a clean bill of health."
Of the 119 provincial departments that have been audited, only seven, or four percent, have balanced their books. At national level, seven out of 34 "have a clean bill of health".
Nombembe said the problems in the books would have an increasing impact on service delivery. "We should be concerned," he said.
Nombembe said it was important that councillors understood the "language" of financial statements. Councillors, for example, needed to keep an eye on the depreciation column of their assets, so that they had an idea of when a vital piece of municipal equipment needed to be replaced.
While there was a shortage of financial skills - between 20 and 30 percent or roughly R550million of the Auditor- General's work is being done by private firms - the majority of bookkeeping tasks could be done by just about anyone.
"The bulk of the work does not require an expert accountant to do," he said. - Sapa