AG's report damns the councillors

Success Marota and Africa Boso brief the media about the local governments' audit results. Marota says leadership must lead by example./ Tiro Ramatlhatse
Success Marota and Africa Boso brief the media about the local governments' audit results. Marota says leadership must lead by example./ Tiro Ramatlhatse

The business executive at the auditor-general's office in North West, Success Marota, said action must be taken against individuals responsible for the downward performance of the province's municipalities' audit outcomes.

Marota, who was speaking at the 2016/2017 financial audit outcomes briefing in Mmabatho yesterday, said that inadequate skills and a lack of oversight by councillors, including the mayors, remained a huge concern.

He blamed the poor performance on insufficient implementation and maintenance of financial and performance management systems.

His report came after all government departments and seven municipalities were placed under administration.

Marota said inadequate consequence management, a lack of investigations for unauthorised irregularities and the leadership selection perpetuated the structure of no consequence.

He said leadership in the province should set a tone for accountability.

"We have indicated the fact that there is hardly adequate skills within municipalities.

"The use of consultants in those cases can be useful but the concern will remain that if then they use consultants, they should be able to assist them to improve," he said.

Marota said despite the fact that municipalities continue to use consultants, the auditor-general was not seeing the improvement in audit outcome.

"There is nothing wrong in using the consultants but then they need to hold them to account to ensure that they deliver in terms of the mandate or the delivery of what the programme might be," Marota said.

Marota mentioned that some of the causes related to the political leadership were not necessarily assisting in the attempts to address the underlying root causes.

"So the action that needs to be taken is that political leadership should lead by example and implement consequence management," he said.

In its annual audit, out of 22 municipalities in the province only two received unqualified findings, 12 received qualified findings and eight municipalities got a disclaimer with findings.

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