Will RNM get a clean bill of health from Auditor-General?

RNM manager Max Mbili is confident the MEC for Cogta will get to the bottom of the R35-million wasted by Ezinqoleni Municipality during its merger with Hibiscus Coast to form RNM.

DESPITE several warnings from the Auditor-General to municipalities which fail to prevent their ship from sinking by clinching a clean bill of health, latest municipal audit stats reveal SA municipalities are wasting a staggering R16,81-billion on irregular expenditure.

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Although KZN is ranked ‘second’ for receiving the most clean audits in the entire country, it’s not off the hook yet as municipalities in the province have wasted R2.43-bn, a shocking increase from the previous financial year which sat at R1.60-bn.

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, wants heads of municipal ‘top-dogs’ who fail to provide accountability for spent finances, to roll. Following the A-G outcomes, Ms Dube-Ncube has threatened to cancel municipal managers’ and chief financial officers’ bonuses.

Meanwhile Ray Nkonyeni Municipality (RNM) might just be too far from bagging its ‘clean audit’ status if they fail to produce credible and reliable financial statements on the ‘missing’ R35-million spent by officials at the former Ezinqoleni municipality in just one month.

Although RNM council recently took a resolution to ‘pass the buck’ to the Cogta MEC to probe the ‘missing’ R35-m, the IFP broke the ranks when it made it clear that the move might not yield the intended results.

Speaking to the Herald, the IFP spokesman, who also sits at the council executive committee, Councillor Sifundo Ndovela, said an internal committee would have been more effective as it would have determined how Ezinqoleni officials managed to incur R35-m in unauthorised, irregular, wasteful and fruitless expenditure in just one month.

“It’s easy to say the MEC must probe the matter; in reality we might have just opened a space for culprits to evade the law on the basis that proper processes were not followed. In this case we needed to investigate internally, get findings, including names of officials and councillors involved, then send them to higher authorities to take action.”

The IFP believes this is a mere strategy to sweep the matter under the carpet, as certain councillors and officials within the municipality might be involved.

“Right now we have nothing except that monies were wasted while communities are suffering. The MEC is very busy and this might take years to complete. They know this.”

RNM spokesman, Simon April, says the matter was being processed. He failed to state whether the MEC had decided to probe the matter or not.

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Meanwhile Cogta spokesman, Lennox Mabaso, denies having received any request from RNM for the MEC to probe the matter.

“We haven’t received anything. Maybe they are still trying to get their ducks in a row.”

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Zimasa Mgwili
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