Night­mare job for CFO

Grocott's Mail - - NEWS - By SUE MACLENNAN

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

Oc­to­ber 2013

– 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

March 2014

– MM Pravine Naidoo dis­missed. Mnce­disi Boma dis­missed.

– East­ern Cape Pro­vin­cial Trea­sury in­vokes Sec­tion 154(1).

July 2014

–Xasa con­firms he re­ceived the Kabuso Re­port.

Septem­ber 2014

– Two com­pe­tent can­di­dates turn down the CFO job.

Septem­ber 2014

– Pam Yako is ap­pointed Sec­tion 139(1)(b) ad­min­is­tra­tor.

Oc­to­ber 2014

– 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

De­cem­ber 2015

– 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

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