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Nelspruit - All managers of Mpumalanga's 21 municipalities have agreed to either improve their performance or face dismissal, a Sapa correspondent reported on Friday.
The managers submitted their written commitment to premier David Mabuza at a co-ordinating forum in Mbombela this week.
“The managers committed (to) improving their work and, in the event they get the disclaimers (bad audit reports), they voluntarily allow the authorities to release them from duty with immediate effect,” said Mabuza's spokesman Zibonele Mncwango.
A disclaimer of opinion is issued when auditors cannot form an opinion on an entity's financials and thus refuses to give any opinion on the financial statements.
The meeting also involved managers, mayors, MECs, department heads and representatives of the office of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Lechesa Tsenoli.
In 2012/13, the Msukaligwa, Nkomazi, Bushbuckridge, Lekwa, and Thaba Chweu municipalities received disclaimers.
Early this year, Mabuza called on municipal managers with disclaimers to freely resign from their positions, but only one did so.
“The commitment letters already have the signatures of the municipal managers but have no dates. The dates would only be filled in by the authorities once the municipal manager has received a disclaimer,” Mncwango said.
He said the co-ordinating forum was part of Mabuza’s efforts to ensure that all spheres of government in Mpumalanga achieved clean audits by the 2014 deadline.
Democratic Alliance leader in the provincial legislature Anthony Benadie criticised Mabuza's move to make municipal managers sign commitments.
“One does not fix finances of a municipality by making managers sign such ridiculous commitment letters,” he said.
“This is nothing more than a political ploy which Mabuza uses to make people think he is serious about service delivery.”