Auditor General raises red flags over City of Cape Town finances

Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille.
Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille.

The Auditor General has raised serious red flags about financial governance in the City of Cape Town.

A new report by the Auditor General‚ seen by the publication‚ makes damning findings against the municipality’s leadership.

One of the key remarks made in the report is that there was “bias” relating to the bid specifications of a certain tender‚ which “did not allow all potential suppliers to offer their goods or services”. It is understood that this has to do with a R300-million electric bus tender that was awarded to Chinese bus company BYD.

The report was based on the unaudited consolidated annual financial statements for the year ending on June‚ 30 2017 and the findings will be discussed during a city council meeting on Wednesday.

The financial statements‚ which were handed to the Auditor General’s office in September last year‚ shows irregular expenditure of more than R47-million.

A figure of R140‚000‚ recorded as an incident of “non-compliance with Remuneration of Public Office Bearers Act”‚ is believed to be related to upgrades to Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille’s home.

Last year ANC Western Cape leader Xolani Sotashe flagged a R140‚000 invoice for Trellidor security barriers that were installed at De Lille’s residence. De Lille claimed that she was entitled to the upgrades and that they were above board.

The report also found that “allegations of financial misconduct against senior managers were not always tabled before council”. This refers to allegations of tender manipulation and fraud by the city’s transport commissioner Melissa Whitehead and the refusal by De Lille to follow up on investigations.

It was also reported that there was “non-compliance related to the system of internal control over the management of revenue from the MyCiti bus service” which resulted in millions of rands being stolen in ticket sales from the service provider.

Auditor General spokesperson Africa Boso said that their mandate did not allow them to comment on the audit report until they have been tabled before council.

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