Eight North West municipalities have been put under administration, premier Job Mokgoro has announced.
The Kagisano-Molopo, Ramotshere Moiloa, Ditsobotla, Kgetlengrivier, Maquassi Hills, Naledi, Mahikeng local municipalities; and the Ngaka Modiri Molema district municipality would be under section 139(1)(b) of the constitution, and section 137 Municipal Finance Management Act with effect from September 1.
The municipalities were put under administration following a diagnostics report on the state of municipalities tabled at the executive council meeting.
Mokgoro said the executive council received a detailed report from the department of local government and human settlements which provided a diagnosis of the state of municipalities in the province.
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) also made a presentation on science, technology and innovation for municipalities.
“Having received the two presentations, the executive council resolved that all the 22 municipalities in the province require constant monitoring and support. To this end, the executive council agreed that a report on the assessment of and support to municipalities will be a standing item in all its meetings,” he said.
“This will enable the executive council to regularly make an informed assessment on the state of municipalities and make informed interventions.”
The problems found at the municipalities included negative audit outcomes as a result of failure to implement post-audit action plans; lack of internal controls to prevent, detect and report unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure; and poor revenue collection which impacts on the ability to pay creditors (such as water boards and Eskom) on time, amongst others.
Earlier this month, the business executive responsible for North West in the Auditor-General’s office, Success Maroto, said irregular expenditure in North West municipalities has increased from R3.19 billion to R4.29 billion in the 2016-17 financial year.
Three municipalities contributed to 55 percent of the total – Rustenburg local municipality with R983.5 million, Ngaka Modiri Molema district municipality with R827.8 million and Madibeng local municipality with R561.9 million.
The number of municipalities with financially unqualified opinions decreased from four to two, and the number with disclaimed opinions increased from six to eight.
There was no single municipality which was able to achieve a clean audit outcome. Mahikeng municipality was the only municipality in North West with an improved audit outcome, from a disclaimer of opinion to a qualified opinion with findings.
– African News Agency (ANA)