Pretoria – The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) has welcomed the positive trend in audit outcomes released by Auditor General Kimi Makwetu.
“As South Africa approaches the end of the current term of local government this year, SALGA welcomes the release of the 2014/2015 MFMA Audit Outcomes by the Auditor General (AG) which reflects improvements in all categories of audit opinions,” said SALGA on Wednesday.
At a media briefing on Wednesday, Makwetu announced that municipalities have shown an encouraging improvement in their audit results from 2010/11 to 2015.
According to the AG, the number of municipalities that received financially unqualified audit opinions with no findings (clean audits) increased from 13 to 54. In the current period (2014-15) the total number of clean audits rose to 72.
“It is very pleasing that the outcomes over the five year timeframe of this term of local government continues to reflect a positive trend which needs to be maintained. The audit outcomes picture at the beginning of this term of local government reflected only 16 auditees who received unqualified opinions with no other matters or “clean audit” opinions while the number at the end of this term improved to 74 auditees,” explained SALGA.
SALGA acknowledged that KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng and the Western Cape were the provinces that reflect the municipalities with the bulk of the positive audit outcomes.
“Special acknowledgment goes to the Free State which achieved its first ever ‘clean audit’ municipality, Thabo Mofutsanyana District Municipality. If this trajectory can be maintained without significant regressions then the audit outcomes picture during the next term of local government could be even more positive.”
SALGA said it believes that the AG’s report is a key indicator of the state of local government and the information and that the insight presented in the report is aimed at empowering oversight structures as well as leaders in local government to focus on issues that will result in reliable financial statements.
“SALGA is encouraged that it’s bold and correct initiatives of committing municipalities to implement a National Anti-Corruption strategy and to adopt consequences & accountability framework in November 2013 at an Anti-Corruption Summit, is bearing positive results.”
The AG’s report has also identified areas of regression and as organized local government, SALGA calls on all member municipalities to urgently address the root causes, risk areas and reportable matters identified by the AG in his report as having regressed.
Regressions were reflected in human resource management, strategic planning and performance management, among others.