The South African Human Rights Commission has linked the billions spent irregularly by municipalities to violent service delivery protests which have been plaguing the country. PHOTO: ANA

Cape Town - Violent and destructive protests would be avoided if state funds were spent in the service of ordinary South Africans, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said on Friday.

SAHRC's comment comes after Auditor-General, Kimi Makwetu released "The State of Local Government and Financial Management 2017" report, on Wednesday.  The report found that the number of municipalities with clean audits dropped from 48 in the 2015/16 financial year to 33, while there was an increase in the number of municipalities receiving unqualified audit reports, from a 108 to 112. Qualified audit outcomes increased from 60 to 66.

Read: Municipal mess: Billions wasted

“In the view of the commission, there is a direct link between billions being lost through irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure by those tasked with managing the finances of municipalities and the lack of service delivery which in turn inhibits and infringes on rights of access to socio-economic rights of many South Africans, and has ignited so many violent and destructive protests,” the commision said in a statement.

There are more than 250 municipalities in South Africa.

African News Agency/ANA