Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu. File photo: Dumisani Sibeko/African News Agency (ANA).

Johannesburg - Auditor-General Makwetu was honoured with a lifetime achievement award for his "stellar work” for holding officials accountable for using public funds.

The award was given by the Association for the Advancement of Black Accountants of Southern Africa (Abasa) for leading the country’s supreme audit office, and his contribution to the accounting/auditing profession in Pretoria on Tuesday night.

Abasa, is a non-profit organisation founded in 1985, which aims to develop black professional and aspiring accountants, with a view to ensuring that access to the profession is widened to include those who did not have opportunities in the past.

Abasa interim president Ashley Dicken said they honoured Makwetu with their 2019 Presidential Award for Lifetime Achievement “for his stellar work in leading the pre-eminent chapter 9 institution of the country during his term”.

“In particular, under Mr Makwetu’s leadership, the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) has reached a milestone of over 1 000 chartered accountants in its ranks.

Also as a key institution of accountability in the public service, the recent passing of the Public Audit Act [amendments] has the potential to significantly alter the safeguarding of the nation’s resources through fostering greater accountability among the custodians of public resources,” Dicken said.

He said it was the view of the Abasa executive committee that such achievements, together with Makwetu’s role as a thought leader in the profession, merited a recognition through the lifetime achievement award.

In reaction, Makwetu, whose fixed seven-year term as South Africa’s AG ends on November 30, 2020, said he was honoured that his industry peers have noticed the institution’s efforts towards the advancement of the country, and the development of the profession.

“When we were given the once-in-a-lifetime privilege and task to lead the country’s supreme audit institution, the main focus has always been to make a contribution towards helping to strengthen South Africa’s democracy by enabling sound oversight, accountability and good governance. It is encouraging that my colleagues in the industry have noticed our efforts.

“While the award is in my name, I accept it on behalf of the team that I am privileged to lead – they are the ones who continue to implement the vision we collectively have for our office and our country. We work together, and all of us do the sterling work that is being recognised by Abasa,”  Makwetu said.

He said the recognition says our efforts are on the right track saying, however, but there was still a lot that his office need to do to help our country’s drive towards wholesale good governance.

Makwetu also said his office was willing to work closely with others who have a keen interest in the advancement of our country saying “we are up to this national challenge.”

Political Bureau