The DA in Limpopo said it is concerned about the state of finances of the province’s 27 municipalities and the effect this will have on service delivery and the support of pro-poor projects.
The Auditor- General (AG) presented to the Limpopo Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) last week that only 8 percent of the province’s 27 municipalities are in financial good health. 79 percent are of concern while 13 percent of Limpopo’s municipalities require urgent financial intervention.
Limpopo municipalities accumulatively owe Eskom and the Water Boards R3 billion. Only the Capricorn District Municipality received a clean audit.
“This is troubling as Limpopo municipalities spent R122 million on consultants to improve their audit outcomes and there is still no consequence for poor performance. The comprehensive report from the AG will be available on July 1 and municipalities will yet again be in the spotlight for amongst other lack of expertise, fruitless and wasteful expenditure and a deliberate lack of accountability,” said DA’s leader Jacques Smalle.
He said the Covid-19 pandemic has placed an additional financial burden on the 92 percent of Limpopo municipalities already under financial strain.
“It is important that budgets be re-prioritised to basic service delivery and that the public be duly informed of such amendments.Limpopo province has just under 1 million unemployed people and it is often those in impoverished, underserved areas whom the local government let down the most.”
“We fully agree with the AG’s findings that strong preventative controls with assurances provided by senior management, the chief financial officer and the audit committee are the ultimate deterrents to poor financial performance in our municipalities.”