The Tlokwe municipality's finances are on a “progressive path”, despite irregularly spending of millions in the 2011/2012 financial year, it said on Tuesday.
“The irregular expenditure or unauthorised expenditure incidents do not necessarily mean that money was misused, but only that certain supply chain procedures were not followed,” spokesman William Maphosa said in a statement.
The municipality was responding to the Democratic Alliance citing an auditor general report, which found the North West municipality had irregularly spent R143 million while under the administration of former mayor Maphetle Maphetle.
On Monday, DA leader in the North West Chris Hattingh, said now that the party was running the Tlokwe municipality it would clean up its finances and focus on delivery.
“Dramatic increases in irregular and unauthorised expenditure, as well as material under-expenditure, have become endemic in the North West province, plagued by years of the ANC's factional infighting in a quest for power and control over financial resources,” Hattingh said.
The AG's figures showed that under Maphetle R152 million was spent without authorisation, and a further R2.8 million was wastefully spent. In addition, the municipality under-spent its budget by R48 million.
The AG found a total of 63 problem areas in the municipality's finances.
“As a consequence, service delivery was negatively affected, the AG found,” Hattingh said.
“In most cases, 60 percent of the delivery targets set for the municipality were too vague for the AG to verify.”
The municipality said the DA had not fully interpreted the report.
“What the DA is not disclosing is the fact that the AG has also pronounced an unqualified audit for the municipality’s 2011/2012
finances, the period before the DA had hardly dreamt of assuming administrative power in the local council,” Maphosa said.
He said the municipality had established a public finance committee and had staffed the supply chain unit.
“Once these processes are finalised, this municipality will consistently maintain a clean audit, and indications are that this will have been achieved already by next year,” said Maphosa.
Maphetle was replaced by the DA's Annette Combrink in November last year, after warring factions within the African National Congress filed a motion of no confidence in him.
The ANC in Tlokwe said it would have Maphetle re-instated, with several ANC members already tabling a motion of no confidence in Combrink.
On Monday, President Jacob Zuma and deputy ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa visited the area for talks with members of the divided city council. - Sapa