Rot in municipalities will be downfall of our democracy

The writer says the auditor-general's damning report into the activities of municipalities is tantamount to municipal capture by vested interests.
The writer says the auditor-general's damning report into the activities of municipalities is tantamount to municipal capture by vested interests.
Image: 123RF/lkeskinen

The report of the auditor-general will be carefully analysed by all the global rating agencies when SA's financial and economic health comes up for review. It is clearly evident that most municipalities are guilty of gross financial ill-discipline.

Parliament must squarely confront this sordid state of affairs. Democracy has many definitions, implications and consequences, but accountability is one of its most important components.

Our democracy will not survive if we allow this rot to continue unchallenged. Financial irregularities may be criminal acts and subject to prosecutions under the law.

The starting point for remedial action, and for successful prevention and detection, is to create a work culture which opposes impropriety, values honesty and puts the protection of public interest first.

It is achieved by leaders operating personally to the core values of integrity, trust and openness and requiring all municipal staff to do the same.

State capture has become a hot topic in SA. The auditor-general's damning report is tantamount to municipal capture by vested interests.

Farouk Araie, Benoni

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