Nightmare job for CFO
Makana’s new chief financial officer, due to start on 1 November, faces everything from ghost workers to a growing debt of close to R200 million – over and above the municipality’s operating budget that in the last financial year was adjusted to R432m. The municipality confirmed they had resolved on their choice for chief financial officer (CFO) and sent Council’s selection to the MEC for Cogta (Fikile Xasa) for concurrence.
“We cannot give out the name yet, but [it]is a very competent person for the position. Our intention is for the person to start on 1 November 2018,” spokesperson Yoliswa Ramokolo told Grocott’s Mail earlier this month.
The MEC’S concurrence is mandatory in terms of the Municipal Systems Act.
The new CFO will walk into the nightmare of a proposed 7.5% salary increase for municipal staff costing Makana an additional R1 million a month (in April staff costs stood at 49% of expenditure) and an annual financial statement that doesn’t fly because of incomplete information. Resolving this won’t be easy because of data lost in a major system crash, and incompatibilities between the old accounting systems and the new Municipal Standard Charter of Accounts (MSCOA).
They also walk into the fresh threat of electricity cuts to Makana because of an outstanding debt to Eskom of R67.5 million and a campaign by some residents to divert rates that is growing in momentum along with a call to dissolve the Council.
Below are some of the more recent episodes affecting the directorate we’ve reported on:
MONEY TROUBLES IN MAKANA
– Makana staff gather outside the city hall on payday, Friday 25 October, as rumours rapidly spread that the municipality has no money in the bank.
– Strategic Manager Mncedisi Boma says Makana is not bankrupt and that rumours the Province would take over the running of the municipality are not true.
November 2013 2013/14 – Fourth successive Disclaimer audit opinion
– MM Pravine Naidoo dismissed. Mncedisi Boma dismissed.
– Eastern Cape Provincial Treasury invokes Section 154(1).
–Xasa confirms he received the Kabuso Report.
– Two competent candidates turn down the CFO job.
– Pam Yako is appointed Section 139(1)(b) administrator.
– Acting CFO Busi Khumalo launches a full forensic investigation into ghost workers’ salaries paid into existing employees’ accounts for more than two years.
– Jongisizwe Gomomo appointed Section 139 (1) (b) administrator.
March 2015 August 2015 2014/15 – Qualified audit opinion
– Makana gets its first qualified audit in years. Busi Khumalo leaves.
– The Hawks visit Makana Municipality after a ghost worker comes forward.
– Ted Pillay, Manager of Sarah Baartman District Municipality, appointed Acting Municipal Manager.
– Amost all payments are held back to pay Eskom R10.5 million.
– Cogta Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize visits Makana promising support.
March 2016 February 2018 May 2018 May 2018
–Makana’s draft Annual Financial Statement - Fruitless and wasteful expenditure
R25.9 million; Irregular expenditure R181.8m; Unauthorised expenditure: R356.6m.
– Eskom threatens power cuts because of outstanding debt of R67.5 million.
September 2018 October 2018