The reality of the new multiparty government in Mogale City is kicking in as the inherited bad financial management of the last few years showed in the 'Unqualified Audit' report that were issued by the Auditor General, says Cllr Amanda de Lange of the Freedom Front Plus. The FF Plus forms part of the multiparty ruling in Mogale City.
The Auditor General stated in his report that the Accounting Officer (who was also the Municipal Manager) did not exercise adequate oversight and responsibility regarding the compliance with the applicable financial laws and regulations for the municipality. It was also found that the Accounting Officer (who is also the Chief Financial Officer) did not take reasonable steps to prevent irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure as required by section 62(1)(d) of the MFMA.
He further pointed out that the Senior Financial and Performance Management Team of Mogale City did not adequately monitor controls that were put in place to ensure compliance with the laws and regulations they were supposed to adhere to.
A large number of the irregularities found by the Auditor General was for contracts and quotations that were awarded to bidders who did not score the highest points, who's tax matters weren't declared and who did not qualify according to the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework and it's regulations.
Councillor De Lange who served on the Section 80 Financial Portfolio Committee, said she tabled a lot of irregular expenditures and requested proper investigations that lead to the negative outcome of this audit. "I am very pleased to see that for once the Auditor General as well as the Audit Committee gave an appropriate audit finding with no possibilities of manipulation or influence from the previous governance. The ANC attempted to have the audit report referred back from the Council meeting yesterday but they failed. The new multi-party government is adamant that the irregularities and misconducts of the previous ruling will not be tolerated" she said.
Apart from the Auditor General's investigations there were also two investigations from an independent firm. These investigations were requested by the new multi-party governance and members of the financial team. Their request were based on allegations of possible irregularities within the municipality.
According to Cllr De Lange, these investigations are just a few of many more to come and the appropriate action against people who were involved with the deliberation of any irregularities in Mogale City will be taken. Considering the financial reports and the outcome of the audits done, it is clear that Mogale City is in very deep financial trouble. It is going to be a mammoth task for the new multi-party ruling (FF Plus, DA, EFF and IFP) to turn this city around but we are taking this challenge head-on, says De Lange.
The long overdue appointment of the new Municipal Manager was also approved by council and residents will now start to see the changes in Mogale City happening. A lot of corrective measures will have to be taken and the new local governance looks forward to bring the city back to its previous glory. The municipality's financial and administration system is probably the most critical irregularity that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency as it has been the main reason for unaccountable water losses, incorrect municipal accounts, incorrect billings and data on the systems. The extensive and irresponsible number of loans taken out by the previous ANC governance has dealt a final blow to the credibility of this municipality, De Lange said.
“Our aim is to render the services the public deserve and to make Mogale City financially sound again. Next time Mogale City will get a clean audit that was deserved and not manipulated in order to 'tell a good story' that does not exist.”
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