//Khara Hais local municipality continues to ignore Auditor General

| Selby Nomnganga

For two successive years //Khara Hais local municipality in Upington has had qualified audit reports. Now, at its most recent council meeting, the municipality approved irregular and unauthorized expenditure of R4 million incurred since November 2013.

“Reasonable steps were not taken to prevent unauthorized expenditure and irregular expenditure, as required by section 62(1)(d) of the MFMA [Municipal Finance Management Act],” reads the auditor general’s report for the financial year ended 30 June 2013.

This also applied to the previous financial year.

According to the auditor general’s report, the municipality has incurred irregular expenditure of over R31 million due to non-compliance with the MFMA and supply chain management processes.

According to council minutes, an amount of R123 million of unauthorized expenditure was written off in the 2011/12 financial year; R11 million in 2012/13.

The secretary of the municipality, John McDuling, said not the entire amount was unauthorized expenditure. He referred further inquiries to Elton Esau who was unreachable.

The auditor general found “documentation supporting amounts disclosed in the financial statements was not always available” at the time of auditing the books of the municipality.

Contracts and quotations were awarded to service providers “whose tax matters had not been declared by South African Revenue Services” as per the stipulations of the Supply Chain Management regulation 43. No competitive bids above R200 000 were invited from the public as per Regulation 19(a) of SCM. Similarly, no quotations for supplies of goods and services were asked from three different suppliers.

In its minutes, the municipality justifies disregarding the regulations with a standard reason throughout — by “the mere fact that the goods and services were rendered … and that Council did receive value for money for the goods and services.”

Amongst the laws disregarded by the municipality is the municipal regulations on minimum competency levels for senior managers, accounting officer and middle management finance officials.

Senior managers referred to as section 57 employees “were appointed without having met the prescribed minimum competency levels” as required by section 54 A (2) of the Municipal Structures Act.

The accounting officer did not meet requirements of regulations 6 and 7. Middle management finance officials “did not have higher education qualification” as prescribed by the minimum competency levels.

TOPICS:  Corruption Local

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