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Limpopo will spend R19 million in the next three financial years on consultants to teach municipal officials how to do their work.
This was revealed by Co-operative Governance, Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs MEC Clifford Motsepe at the Premier’s Office in Polokwane on Wednesday.
Motsepe also chairs the province’s governance and administration cluster.
“Plans are afoot to assist struggling municipalities, and we have to this end contracted resident accountants… to see to it that these municipalities improve on their audit outcomes for the 2011/12 financial year,” said Motsepe.
Currently, the two consulting companies would help 13 struggling municipalities, but four more municipalities were expected to be added to the list.
Motsepe said that in addition to helping the non-performing municipalities to attain clean audits, the consultants were expected to transfer their skills to municipal officials.
“We expect them to capacitate certain people,” Motsepe said.
He promised that consultants would be held accountable if they failed to help municipalities.
“Anything less than that performance is unacceptable. Then you must pack your bags and go,” said Motsepe.
Auditor-General Terence Nombembe has indicated that provincial municipalities had spent R15.7m in the 2009/2010 financial year on consultants.
In some of the municipalities, officials in the finance units had no skills to compile financial statements, Nombembe noted. But he applauded the Fetakgomo municipality for being the first council in the history of the province to attain a clean audit.
Motsepe conceded that it would be a difficult task to get all 30 municipalities in the province to attain clean audits by 2014.
He said 12 provincial departments have had 206 cases of misconduct, including corruption, against employees in the 2011/2012 financial year.
“Out of the 12 departments, eight finalised their reported cases within 90 days,” said Motsepe.
He also said the authorities would clamp down on illegal initiation schools this winter.