Accountability worsening as only 18 municipalities get clean audits - AG Makwetu

Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu has revealed the local government audit results for the 2017-2018 financial year.

FILE: Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG – Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu said accountability in local government continued to deteriorate.

Makwetu on Wednesday revealed the local government audit results for the 2017-2018 financial year.

He said his conclusion on the outcome was that the accountability for financial and performance management worsened in most municipalities.

Governance issues affecting municipalities have continuously been flagged with them in various formats, including individualised meetings with leadership but the latest set of results indicated that this constant advice has largely been ignored

Eighteen out of the 257 municipalities achieved a clean audit, 12 of these municipalities were in the province of the Western Cape.

Makwetu has welcomed amendments to the Audit Act that would now give his office the power to act.

He said only 3% of the R380 billion allocated to municipalities in 2017/2018 was accounted for without question.

“Only 18 have achieved that ideal area of internal control that prevents people from looting.”

Irregular expenditure has gone down from R28 billion to R25 billion but Makwetu says compliance remains low - and the recent amendment to the audit act will hold financial officers accountable

“The last recourse that our office has is to consider where they should not initiate a process that will trigger a certificate of debt that has been quantified in respect of losses incurred that will be the issued directly to either an accounting officer of individual members.”

Free State, North West and Limpopo didn’t have a single clean audit.