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Johannesburg - Salga on Wednesday welcomed the release of the 2012/13 municipal audit outcomes announced in Pretoria.

“As South Africa marks 20 years of democracy, we celebrate a significant increase in the delivery of basic services to the citizens of our country,” spokeswoman Karen Reyneke said in a statement.

“The report reflects these improvements as derived from the 2011 Census results: 85 percent of households have access to electricity; 91 percent of households have access to piped water and 95 percent of residents have access to toilet facilities.”

Auditor General Kimi Makwetu announced earlier that nine percent of municipalities and municipal entities achieved clean audits in the 2012/13 audit review.

This was compared to five percent for the previous year.

Of the 319 audits, 22 municipalities and eight municipal entities had unqualified audits with no findings, otherwise known as clean audits. Of the 30 clean audits, 13 had sustained this distinction from the 2011/2012 audit.

Makwetu praised those that achieved clean audits, saying their accountable management and leadership meant they could provide additional evidence to support their financial statements.

Reyneke said the SA Local Government Association noted the increase in the number of auditees having received unqualified with no findings opinions as well as a notable decrease in the number of auditees with adverse or disclaimer with findings opinions.

“We believe that the auditor general's report is a key indicator of the state of local government and the information... is aimed at empowering oversight structures as well as leaders in local government to focus on issues that will result in reliable financial statements.”

Reyneke said Salga was committed to improving accountability, governance, and service delivery in local government.

“In providing support to municipalities our objective is to focus on the root causes and risk areas identified by the auditor general,” she said.

The organisation would support municipalities based on a multidisciplinary approach focusing on four pillars Ä leadership, governance, institutional capacity, and financial management.

“As part of efforts to build municipal institutional capacity, in particular to respond to poor audit outcomes at a municipal level, plans are under way to implement an executive leadership and coaching programme (ELCP) which is targeted at municipal political and administrative leadership,” said Reyneke.