Engcobo paves the way on clean audits
There was a great feeling of satisfaction in Engcobo this week after Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu singled the Eastern Cape municipality out for its clean audit.
The municipality had delivered a R8.5 million village electrification project R1.6 million below budget, Makwetu said. Last month, the residents of Ngxebe village got electricity for the first time in their lives. Nokwanele Mpondonkulu (60) and NoTest Ngcenge (50) can now do things the rest of us take for granted, ditching their candles and paraffin stoves, and buying groceries and putting them in the fridge.
Engcobo’s officials worked hard to afford the project by using the small municipality’s savings to top up funds from national government.
So how did the poor, rural municipality of 155 514 people do it? By simply following the rules.
Engcobo’s chief financial officer, Mzusekho Matomane, is properly qualified. The former auditor at SizweNtsalubaGobodo drew up a check list for processing tenders, which has become a model for other municipalities.
He and his staff are also often in touch with the Auditor-General’s office for advice on how to best monitor procurement. Matomane believes that when awarding contracts, the municipality must go for quality, competitive prices and that the process must be as competitive as possible.
Engcobo’s municipal manager, Silumko Mahlasela, is also passionate about their performance management system, which ensures that there are consequences for municipal employees who don’t do their jobs properly.
Because of this, Engcobo has incurred no unauthorised, irregular, or fruitless and wasteful expenditure since 2014, has a healthy liquidity ratio, and a 100% debt collection rate, according to Treasury website Municipal Money.
So if Engcobo can do it, why can’t everybody else?