Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs MEC Nomusa Dube

A total of 45 KwaZulu-Natal municipalities have received unqualified audit reports, co-operative governance MEC Nomusa Dube said on Monday.

This was compared to 47 unqualified reports last year, Dube said in a statement.

The Auditor General’s report for the 2011/2012 financial year was handed to the province’s municipalities on Monday.

Eight municipalities received qualified audit reports and seven got disclaimers.

Dube was disappointed at the poor performance of those municipalities.

The province had 61 municipalities in total.

“ 1/8However 3/8 the negative audit performance by... municipalities has given the government an opportunity to draw lessons that ensure that in the future all municipalities can perform positively.”

The poor performance was attributed to a change in municipality leadership since last year's local government elections and the expiring contracts of municipal managers and some chief financial officers.

This created a vacuum and compromised decision making, Dube said.

Another reason was the shortage of senior financial management skills, which was essential if municipalities were to achieve clean audits.

“Noting the above factors as having contributed to the poor performance, we will, however, draw lessons. Now that we have realised that we encounter weaknesses each time there is a change of leadership due to local government elections, we will now come up with measures to avert such a situation,” said Dube. - Sapa