On the right track

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

RE­STRUC­TUR­ING and in­te­grat­ing the City of Joburg’s en­ti­ties such as Pik­itup, City Power, Jo­han­nes­burg Wa­ter and oth­ers could save the city R18 mil­lion in salaries of non-ex­ec­u­tive board mem­bers.

Th­ese en­ti­ties are semi-au­ton­o­mous, so with the city re­gain­ing con­trol of their op­er­a­tions, ser­vice de­liv­ery could be fast-tracked, first be­cause the city will play an over­sight role in what needs to be done and where, and sec­ond be­cause the money saved could be used to de­liver ser­vices to res­i­dents.

While fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies are yet to be con­ducted and res­i­dents con­sulted, we be­lieve this is a move in the right di­rec­tion, par­tic­u­larly fol­low­ing last week’s shock­ing an­nounce­ments that the city, un­der the ANC ad­min­is­tra­tion, in­curred a stag­ger­ing R3.4 bil­lion of pre­vi­ously un­re­ported ir­reg­u­lar ex­pen­di­ture, with R700 mil­lion in­curred in the last fi­nan­cial year alone.

The Au­di­tor-Gen­eral’s 2015/16 an­nual fi­nan­cial state­ments tabled last week in­di­cated that only four of the city’s 15 en­ti­ties re­ceived clean au­dits in the past fi­nan­cial year.

We hope the new sys­tem, if it goes through, will en­sure that strin­gent mea­sures are put in place to guard against waste­ful ex­pen­di­ture and cor­rup­tion, which rob res­i­dents of their con­sti­tu­tional rights to ser­vices.

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