By Libuseng Nyaka
QWAQWAA – An officer of the office of the Auditor General, Lerato Mokorotlo, this week commended the Thabo Mofutsanyana district municipality’s efforts to address some of the Auditor General’s recommendations, describing them as a step in the right direction.
Mokorotlo was addressing the Thabo Mofutsanyana district council sitting on Tuesday via audio stream.
“The audit opinion of the municipality remained stagnant from the prior year’s unqualified opinion and there were also material findings on the reported performance information.
“Although the audit opinion is unqualified, there were material adjustments made to the financial statements, that assisted the municipality to maintain the audit opinion. There were also material adjustments on the annual performance report that also assisted to ensure a better conclusion,” Mokorotlo said.
He emphasized the need for compliance with applicable legislation that were also identified.
“These were under the preparation of the annual financial statements, expenditure management procurement and contract management, human resource management and consequence management. This is due to the fact that implementation of the action plan is not effective and slow responses by both management and the political leadership.”
Mokorotlo said the auditor general has also found an irregular expenditure of R9-million.
Acting municipal manager, Selby Lengoabala, attributed the irregular expenditure to a small number of senior management during the appointment of contractors.
“There is an improvement and reduction from previous, there was a time when three quotations were not submitted; only two were submitted and that resulted in non-compliance with SCM regulations. At least we are now clearing that. Another issue is on the adjudication committee. The law prescribes a minimum three senior managers but, before I arrived here, there were only two senior managers, namely the CFO and the director cooperate services. In other words, contracts that were awarded did not comply.”
For his part, the chairperson of the Audit Committee Ntsala Gauda, said sometimes information is not timeously forthcoming from the municipality side, such as the shortages of staff especially in the finance department. You find we have one or two officials and when findings come up and they need to address those findings during short space of time. I think this issue of staff needs to be addressed.”
Meanwhile, DA councillor Marius Marris expressed satisfaction with both the report of the AG and that of the internal auditor.
“The only thing that we are not happy with is the interruption as a result of the network. But other than that, the use of technology has put us a step forward and there is still room for improvement in that area. We are satisfied with the unqualified report. We can give applause to the officials and the councillors as well as the administrations for the excellent performance.
“As the AG declared that there are some certain areas of concern which need attention, we will further indulge in such areas as councillors and as the opposition party. What we love about the intervention by the AG is that it acknowledges a continuation of faults from administration. But all in all, we are satisfied.”
Marris’ sentiments were echoed by the Setsoto Service Delivery Forum’s Killian Mohanoe, who also said there is room for improvement which may lead to clean audit.
“The presentation from the AG was very good, we can see that we are really trying as a district to make improvements. It is going to take time, but I think in the next financial year we will have clean audit. It shows team work. I am happy with the presentation they made.”
Meanwhile, the Executive Mayor of Thabo Mofutsanyana Conny Msibi had this to say:
“Lots of good news. Some of the recommendations I could see they have been implemented already, such as the supply chain management (SCM) processes. The presentation is giving us a direction to say, now we should not lose our focus, especially in terms of monitoring. I think the presentation was fair to us and was an eye opener.”
Another issue that was raised was that of unreliable electricity supply which hampers councillors’ progress of adapting to technology use and embracing the fourth industrial revolution.