Tshwane is the worst performing metro in Gauteng

AG flags capital city metro for R2.7bn irregular expenditure

City of Tshwane. File photo.
City of Tshwane. File photo.
Image: Sunday Times

The City of Tshwane has been flagged by the auditor-general as the worst performing metro in Gauteng with high levels of irregular expenditure and reliance on consultants.

The local authority whose seat is Pretoria, the country’s capital, was also the highest contributor on irregular expenditure at R2.7bn. This is money spent on projects but without following proper procurement processes.

Tshwane's bad financial record was followed by the City of Johannesburg with R1.1bn. At R226m, Ekurhuleni's irregular expenditure was relatively lower by comparison.

All Gauteng municipalities and their entities accumulated R6.6bn in irregular expenditure, which is a marginal decline from the R7.2bn reported in the previous financial year.

This was revealed by the acting business unit leader for Gauteng Dorothy Rampopo as she released the outcomes of all municipalities and their entities in the province for the 2020/2021 financial year.

In her report, the City of Tshwane had the highest amount spent on consultants at R121m. Rampopo said the city spent this money to hire consultants who helped it produce a fixed asset register. All the municipalities in the province spent a total of over R919m using consultants to help them prepare their financial statements.

The biggest contributor on irregular expenditure among municipal entities was City Power with R1.03bn.

Tshwane also had stubborn service delivery issues, which the auditor-general (AG) raised as concerning.

“We have noted in the current year that through the application of the full material irregularity definition, we have identified material irregularity relating to the substantial harm to the general public at the City of Tshwane where the municipality has failed to provide the residents of Hammanskraal with clean water.

“This is an issue that has been ongoing for quite some time. This is due to the non-compliant discharge at the Rooival wastewater treatment works,” Rampopo said.

Only two Gauteng municipalities received a clean audit – Ekurhuleni and Midvaal. Ekurhuleni sustained the clean audit for the second time while Midvaal maintained that status for the eighth consecutive year.

Clean audits mean that the financial statements are free from material misstatements and there are no problems identified by the AG on reporting on performance and compliance with objectives.

Johannesburg and Tshwane metros received unqualified audit opinions with findings. This means the auditors found that financial statements are fairly and appropriately presented but there were still areas that need to be attended to before the municipality can get a clean audit.

“We have seen a regression in performance reporting as eight municipalities (Johannesburg, Tshwane, Sedibeng, West Rand district, Emfuleni, Lesedi, Mogale City and Rand West City) did not publish credible performance reports, which negatively affected the ability of both municipalities and residents to properly assess services promised to by the administration,” Rampopo said.

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