Report on municipalities not ‘repackaged’

Cabinet spokesman Jimmy Manyi says a media report indicating that Cabinet ordered the National Treasury to "repackage" an audit report on municipalities is untrue. Photo: Independent Newspapers

Cabinet spokesman Jimmy Manyi says a media report indicating that Cabinet ordered the National Treasury to "repackage" an audit report on municipalities is untrue. Photo: Independent Newspapers

Published May 11, 2011

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A media report indicating that Cabinet ordered the National Treasury to “repackage” an audit report on municipalities is untrue, Cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said on Wednesday.

“There was no uproar of any sort when it was presented, nor was there any instruction to the National Treasury or the Auditor-General for that matter to “repackage” the report,” Manyi said in a statement.

“The assertion that Cabinet ordered the National Treasury to 'repackage' the report is not only untrue but also an affront to the integrity and ethical conduct of Cabinet, and is thus dismissed with the contempt it deserves.”

He was reacting to a Beeld newspaper article that said:

“ministers were so worried about the impact of the report during its tabling, taking place as it was shortly before next week’s local government elections, that they told the Treasury to 'repackage' the findings”.

According to the newspaper, the report details how 46

municipalities have not issued audit reports, 70 percent of financial information from municipalities is unusable, 48 percent of financial information submitted by municipalities is not trustworthy and almost 25 percent of municipalities cannot produce the necessary supporting documentation.

Manyi charged that there was also a “fatal lack of understanding” of how the Office of the Auditor General operates.

“It is only after the Auditor General has made the report public that Cabinet will decide whether or not to comment on its findings and contents,” he said.

He added that the report was also presented to Cabinet in mid-March 2011.

Earlier, DA leader Helen Zille said President Jacob Zuma must make the report full public before local government elections next week.

This would allow voters to go the polls fully informed, she said in a statement.

“I am issuing a personal challenge to President Zuma: make the full report public before South Africa goes to the polls next Wednesday. Give every voter the opportunity to make a fully informed decision before they cast their ballot.

“The people have a right to know how the governing party in their municipality has performed before they vote.” -

Sapa

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