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Xolani Koyana and Kwanele Butana
THE Overberg District Municipality blames its poor audit result on “a poor management and organisational culture” and says it will take three years to turn things around.
On Monday Auditor-General Terence Nombembe announced that the district municipality was among the three worst performing in the province.
Nombembe said his office was unable to verify the existence and the value of the municipality’s infrastructure and leased assets because of missing or duplicate barcodes.
“The regression in audit outcomes from a financially unqualified opinion with findings to a qualified opinion was mainly due to leadership instability both at administrative and political levels.”
The Overberg district, which covers the local municipalities of Theewaterskloof, Overstrand, Cape Agulhas and Swellendam, attained qualified audits for the 2010/11 financial year.
The district’s municipal manager, Duppie du Plessis, said it was always bad to receive a qualified audit but the municipality had been without a manager and chief financial officer for months.
Du Plessis said he started in his job in March and the acting chief financial officer, Cobus Burger, started last month after their predecessors were dismissed three months ago.
Burger said the only major concern raised by the AG’s report was the municipality’s asset register which was in disarray. All the other issues raised in the report pertained to “legal compliance”.
“The asset register will be up to date at the end of August,” he said.
The municipality denied underspending its operating budget by R8.7 million, as reported, and argued that it had instead overspent.
Du Plessis said the municipality was politically stable since the DA took over from a coalition council after last year’s elections.
The City of Cape Town said it was taking the AG’s findings seriously.
In his report Nombembe found the city’s financial statements were in order, but there were administrative irregularities in the awarding of tenders.
Deputy mayor and mayco member for finance Ian Neilson said the city had investigated all the irregularities mentioned in the report.
Those included the city awarding tenders to 12 of its officials and a councillor.
These cases had since been referred to the city’s municipal public accounts committee.
“The committee found no graft and that the administrative irregularities amounted to minor infringements. The city received fair value in the delivery of the contracts.”