MUNICIPALITIES STILL CAN’T
The mayor of Gauteng’s only municipality with a clean audit believes this status shouldn’t be celebrated, but instead translated into service delivery.
Bongani Baloyi, who leads the DA council in Midvaal, said: “We must not chase clean audits, which do not translate to better services for our communities, but rather great economic growth and better material circumstances so people can see it.
“When we say clean audit, people must see value for money; things on the ground you promised them.”
He said residents needed to have confidence that their leaders were not indulging in unnecessary things, but sticking to their core business.
But his statement was soon tested by Anna Mohapi, who lives in Sicelo informal settlement. She said she’d lived in her shack for more than a decade without water and electricity.
“I still have to fetch water up the street. Our situation is still the same,” said the mother of two.
Baloyi said 3 000 shacks in Sicelo would be electrified this year, and that there was lack of water and sanitation for some underdeveloped communities, but the municipality was on a path to fix that.
Baloyi (30) said that, when he took over in 2013, he inherited a healthy municipality that had scored several unqualified audits. But he planned to improve them further and has scored three clean audits in a row.
“The first one we celebrated, but then we stopped because it’s part of our job ... We just put it on Twitter and Facebook – that’s how special it gets. And then we send a thank you letter to staff.”
He said residents should expect leaders to adhere to the highest moral and ethical codes.
“I think that should be the norm. That’s the standard we want to subscribe to,” he said.
“We also understand the scrutiny that we are always under, which is necessary ... We should look at ways to encourage oversight directly from our communities.”
The way things were done in Midvaal, he said, involved a commitment to good governance; ruthless consequence management for corruption, maladministration and mismanagement of the public purse; and proactive performance monitoring.