North West Legislature calls former administrators to account on Naledi Local Municipality’s poor state of governance

North West SCOPA resolves to call former administrators to account on Naledi Local Municipality’s poor state of governance

The North West Provincial Legislature’s Standing Committee on Provincial Public Accounts (SCOPA) chaired by Hon. Job Dliso has resolved to compel former Administrators at Naledi Local Municipality who were appointed as part of various interventions by provincial government to account on continued poor performance on governance at the municipality.

This follows a meeting with the municipality to account on non-compliance on the tabling of the 2017/18 and 2018/19 annual reports in the Legislature.

Hon. Dliso said although there has been various interventions from 2017/18 financial year by both the Department of Cooperative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs, and Department of Finance but the municipality’s performance on finances and service delivery is continuing to deteriorate. “We need to interrogate close-up reports of various Section 139 intervention teams that were sent there because there are no positive results. There is no value for money yet taxpayers money is spent.

“We have also witnessed political and administrative instability in the municipality as at some point it was closed and intervention teams could not do their job. Council could not even process various reports such as annual and oversight reports or even close-up reports of such interventions,” said Hon. Dliso.

He further said there has been a tendency of both departments to second officials who are either incompetent or failed in previous municipalities thus rendering their services impractical.

The Acting Municipal Manager, Mr. Sello Nelson Mongale said many intervention teams that were previously deployed in the municipality have never submitted and presented a single close-up report to Municipal Council for consideration. “There were many acting personnel who were seconded here but didn’t bother to present any report to Council. We do admit that there has been disruptions in the past financial years which affected municipal operations at large,” said Mr. Mongale.

Head of Department at Provincial Treasury, Mr. Ndlela Kunene said the department continues to capacitate the municipality on how to prepare for annual financial statements and other technical matters. “We have moved away from appointing consultants who prepare the financial statements on behalf of the municipality as we feel that we need to train the officials at the beginning of the financial year so that they can have knowledge on the process. They need to do the actual job themselves because if we appoint consultants, it will be duplication of the job and wasteful expenditure,” said Mr. Kunene.

The Cooperative Governance department representative, Ms. Elisabeth Mmutle said the intervention didn’t yield any results due to instability within the municipality. “Our officials could not do their work due to many issues such as protracted strikes. On the 12 months that they were supposed to be there, they could only work for less than 3 months. There is no institutional arrangements as different Portfolio Committees could not even sit to process various reports. We needed them to comply with various legislation and oversight processes but it did not happen,” said Ms. Mmutle.

Hon. Dliso said the Committee will also meet both departments to assess the process of interventions. “We want to see if these interventions are really working because many municipalities in this province are in dire state,” said Hon. Dliso.

He said the municipality should submit various reports which include transactions on various projects conducted and a list of senior appointments made during those years to check for accountability and value for money. “We also require Municipal Public Accounts reports on all challenges faced and how they have tabled unauthorised, irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure reports. We will also summon all consultants which were assigned to assist the municipality on compilation of annual financial statements. All reports must be submitted within 7 days,” said Hon. Dliso.

He said the municipality should also submit its Post Audit Action Plan that respond to issues raised by the Office of the Auditor-General. The Standing Committee will also conduct an oversight at the municipality to assess value for money and service delivery.

Source: Government of South Africa