Corrupt municipalities must account for their poor audits
ANC MP Amos Masondo yesterday called for the naming and shaming of corrupt municipalities if the scourge was to be eradicated in the country.
Speaking during a briefing in Parliament on the 2015/16 municipalities audit-outcomes by the Office of Auditor-General, Masondo said corruption remained one of the key challenges facing the country.
“It will be useful to ensure as we talk (about corruption), we actually say ‘which are the most corrupt municipalities and entities in the country’.
“If we do that, we force focus and concentrate our minds on those. I know it will be a difficult thing to do,” he said.
The former mayor of the City of Johannesburg made his comments when the co-operative governance and traditional affairs committee heard that there was an 86% (185 municipalities) slow response rate to the A-G’s message on improving key controls and risk areas.
There was also inadequate consequences for poor performance and transgressions.
During the 2015/16 financial year, R16.8 billion in irregular expenditure was incurred, up from the prior year’s R11.1bn.
The committee was also informed that municipalities did not have sufficient mechanisms for reporting and investigating transgressions or possible fraud.
Seventy-three municipalities had not established disciplinary boards, 53 were without a hotline and 50 were without policies for investigations
Business executive, Alice Muller, said there was a need to focus and work towards increasing accountability.
“If we increase accountability, corruption will go down,” she said.
“If accountability is not in place nor enforced, we are to see a spike in corruption,” Muller added.
Masondo said talking about corruption in general terms should give way to an era to be more specific.
“Some of these corruption cases can lead to isolating and pilot interventions so that we can see on an ongoing basis that they are attended to,” he said.
The DA’s David Matsepe said there was a need to look at factors that made municipalities not perform to expectations.
“My thinking is that the powers-that-be, be it in the provinces or nationally, are actually stifling the effort of auditors.
“They don’t give regard to recommendations given by auditors that these are instances to be investigated,” Matsepe said.
He said it was worrying that out of the 151 fraud and supply chain misconduct the A-G recommended for investigation, only 43 were not investigated and nine others were not properly investigated.
But, Masondo said, those mandated to conduct investigations, such as the Hawks, should be compelled to do their work.
He said a leaf should be taken from the Prasa board, which took the elite unit to court for allegedly not probing cases lodged with it.
SPEAKING OUT: ANC MP Amos Masondo wants all corrupt municipalities to be named and shamed.