Western Cape Municipalities Receive Best Financial Governance Outcomes
Put together, the Western Cape’s 30 municipalities have received their best municipal governance report card yet, according to the audit reports issued to the province’s municipalities.
According to the provisional reports, 28 municipalities received unqualified financial audits, 11 of which were completely clean. This is a marked improvement on the 2009/10 and 2010/11 results which saw 22 unqualified audits (with one being completely clean), and 25 unqualified audits (with two being completely clean), respectively.
One municipality, Kannaland, received an adverse finding, which is unchanged from 2011/12. The audit report of Central Karoo District municipality has yet to be finalised.
Alan Winde, Western Cape Minister of Finance, and Anton Bredell, Western Cape Minister of Local Government, revealed the outcomes today (22 January 2014).
Minister Winde said that he was pleased with the year-on-year improvements: “Each year since coming to power in the province we have managed to improve the number of unqualified reports we’ve achieved. The improvements have been steady and sustained.”
Minister Bredell said that the previous year’s audit outcomes had been interrogated, and that the Western Cape Government had assisted municipalities by devising strategies to address the issues raised by the AG.
“The Municipal Governance Review and Outlook (MGRO) process is at the core of our continued improvements. Through this process, we tackle accountability, governance and management holistically, in partnership with key stakeholders within the municipalities. This approach requires leadership at the top and throughout any organisation. Municipalities have committed to the process and these results are proof that a co-operative approach works.”
Minister Winde said municipalities were at the coalface of service delivery, and that the audit outcomes provided a measurement of how well taxpayers’ money was being spent.
“Each year since 2009/10 we have managed to at least double the number of clean audits we have achieved. The year-on-year improvements in municipal audit outcomes in our province tell us that local governments are managing their finances more effectively, ensuring greater accountability for their budgets. We believe that every cent is important.
“As we continue to improve, we will make sure there is no room for corruption. Residents in this province can rest assured that they are getting the best value for their money,” said Winde.
The Western Cape Government has put a series of bespoke interventions in place to support municipalities to become stronger in particular areas. These include:
- Assisting municipalities with action plans (MGAPs) to address issues raised in 2011/12 report.
- Specialised training in Supply Chain Management and cash management.
- Hands-on support with budget, revenue and expenditure management.
- Year-round monitoring to gauge successes of action plans and remedy concerns as they arise.
- Support with the implementation of anti-corruption strategies where required.
- Interventions on critical governance issues to ensure administrative stability and service delivery during periods of change where required.
- The establishment of Municipal Public Account Committees.
- Assistance with the implementation of shared services so that services may be rendered at affordable costs.
- Support to develop software systems aimed at improving organisational efficiency and accountability.
Minister Bredell commended the municipalities for their hard work in improving their audit results.
“I am extremely pleased with the results and want to take this opportunity to thank the municipalities for the hard work that they have put in to make this possible, as well as for their continued commitment to achieving better governance and greater service delivery in our Province,” said Minister Bredell.
Minister Winde said the Western Cape Government would continue to provide on-going support to municipalities.
“Because the quality of governance has a direct impact on service delivery we take our financial oversight role seriously. Better governance also encourages an enabling environment for job creation, which is our most important strategic objective. These results are testament to the dedication of all the Western Cape Government staff, most notably officials in the Provincial Treasury and the Department of Local Government. Despite these good results, we know there are always areas for further improvement and we will continue to partner with municipalities in the Western Cape to ensure we continue to improve financial governance levels across the board.”