Unstable coalitions negatively impact local government audits - AG Maluleke

During the financial year which ended on 30 June last year, there were 104 unqualified audits with irregular expenditure currently at R30 billion.

Screengrab of Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke presenting the audit outcomes of municipalities (SABC on YouTube)

CAPE TOWN - Auditor General Tsakani Maluleke has warned against poor political leadership and how unstable coalition-led municipalities are negatively impacting local government audits.

According to Maluleke, the deterioration of public institutions in local government continues across the country requires urgent attention.

Maluleke was on Wednesday briefing Parliament on the audit outcomes of local government for the financial year that ended on 30 June last year.

During the period there were 104 unqualified audits and irregular expenditure currently at R30 billion.

She said while there were slight improvements in local government audits in all provinces, they were still in bad state across the board.

“The big summary I would offer is that there is a deterioration if you look right across the board. Even in those provinces where you see some improvements, there is concern that that improvement is not happening at the type of pace,” Maluleke said.

She said the instability in councils, some governed through coalitions, was also affecting local government finances.

“The instability in councils has also been a major feature in terms of the lack of capacity and lack of discipline to drive reliable reporting on financial management,” she said.

Maluleke said while more than 50% of municipalities were able to submit credible financial statements, there was still a lack of skills to deal with financial management.