By CARY CLARK, Democratic Alliance (DA) Makana Caucus
It is no surprise that the Makana Municipality has once again received a disclaimer of audit opinion from the Auditor-General (AG). This is the fourth consecutive audit disclaimer under the tenure of the current Municipal Manager (MM).
An audit disclaimer is issued when the auditee provided insufficient evidence in the form of documentation on which to base an audit opinion.
Some of the reasons provided by the AG for the disclaimer are:
- No documents provided to substantiate information provided;
- Poor to non-existent record keeping;
- Non-compliance with the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA);
- Unlawful Supply Chain Management (SCM) processes;
- Late submission of reports;
- Fruitless and wasteful expenditure not properly investigated and accounted for;
- Slow implementation of disciplinary cases;
- Lack of consequence management by the MM.
Although a Financial Recovery Plan has been in place for many years, the municipality has done little to implement it. Last week a court order was granted to force the municipality to implement this plan. The DA fully supports the court order and will monitor adherence to it.
We are also concerned that the ANC and EFF unanimously voted in a Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) chairperson who is very inexperienced. MPAC requires highly competent, skilled and experienced people.
During the last term of office, the DA submitted a motion to the council to have the MM suspended based on previous AG reports. He took it upon himself to omit this motion from the agenda. It was decided that the previous Mayor would then deal with the issue, but nothing was done.
Against this background, the DA will once again submit a motion to suspend the MM pending an investigation. We will also be submitting a motion to have a full forensic audit investigation done. This investigation must establish weaknesses within the municipality and find culpability to hold officials and staff accountable.
The DA will not stand idle and watch the uncaring ANC government bring further destruction to the Makana Municipality and its residents.