[ALERT] AG: Irregular municipal expenditure jumps by over 50%

Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu reports limited improvements in audit results of SA's municipalities.

FILE: Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Irregular expenditure has increased by just over 50% to R16.81 billion, Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu has revealed in his audit results of South Africa's municipalities.

The Auditor-General reported limited improvements in the audit results for the past financial year.

A total of 49 out of 263 municipalities received clean audit opinions for the 2015/2016 financial year.

Makwetu says that there have been marginal improvements in the audit results but overall, local government has failed to maintain the promising five-year momentum gained between 2010 and 2015.

The provinces with the highest proportion of municipalities with clean audit opinions are the Western Cape (80%), Kwazulu Natal (18%) and the Eastern Cape (16%).

Although Gauteng continued to perform well, only the Midvaal Municipality could hold onto its clean audit status.

Makwetu has highlighted the importance of accountability in the management of municipal affairs.

Makwetu says there's still a long way to go to ensure the majority of municipalities perform well.

“An average of about 20% of the 263 municipalities can be classified as having robust and strong financial discipline. This means we have a big challenge to push the same level of discipline to the 80% who don’t have it in place.”