The mayors of four of the country’s major metros must account to Parliament for their hand in R12 billion in unauthorised‚ irregular‚ wasteful and fruitless expenditure as revealed earlier this week in the Auditor-General’s (A-G) Municipal Performance Report.
That’s the view of the Democratic Alliance‚ which says it will request the Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA)‚ Themba Godi‚ to summon the mayors of Johannesburg‚ Tshwane‚ Ekurhuleni and Nelson Mandela Bay to answer to it.
“SCOPA‚ as a matter of due process‚ will have an opportunity to interrogate the A-G’s report which has shown these astronomical levels of financial mismanagement. It is of paramount importance that the mayors of municipalities answer to Parliament in order to satisfy South Africans that there will be accountability and proportionate punishment for corrupt government employees‚ said David Ross‚ the DA’s spokesperson on the Standing Committee on Public Accounts.
He said the report indicated that it had not been investigated and dealt with as required by section 32 of the Municipal Financial Management Act (MFMA). Parliament was well within its rights to ensure that these financial irregularities that adversely affected service delivery were duly probed.
“This not only reveals government’s passive stance on clamping down on corruption in municipalities‚ but also that there is no clear objective to spend state funds on the priorities matters concerning poor communities.
“Corruption undermines priority spending goals set out for each government department and negates the recent reprioritisation of R31.8 billion since the tabling of the 2015 Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS)‚” said Ross.
New or additional spending on higher education‚ small business development and to assist drought relief were to be accommodated through stringent cost containment measures across all departments and municipalities‚ he noted.
“Consequence management of financial misconduct is critical to thwarting corruption and achieving sound financial management across all levels of government and SCOP should take the lead on giving effect to this. Accountability for non-compliance with legislation relating to expenditure management‚ procurement and contract management‚ transfer payments and internal audit procedure is needed.
“It is critical that Government deliver on key spending priorities and deliver on additional spending in responding to the vast number of key issues in South Africa at the moment that need urgent financial attention.
“The reality is deficient financial management practices and corrupt activities now hinder government’s efforts to address the new funding requirements and deliver the basic services our people so desperately need.
“Much more must be done to stop fiscal wastage as this increases the suffering of the poor‚” Ross said.
Source: Herald Live