THE Msunduzi municipality is in damage control mode as it seeks to assure the public that it is still well run following a damning report by the Auditor General.
AG Kimi Makwetu tabled his report on the municipality during a budget adjustment full council meeting on Wednesday.
Makwetu issued a disclaimer, the worst opinion the AG can express.
He highlighted issues such as writing off of bad debt without making efforts to recover it or following due process, failure to account for assets and failure to clamp down on employees doing business with the city while not declaring their interest.
In a statement released yesterday, mayor Themba Njilo said the municipality was still in a position to meet its financial obligations.
Opposition parties, however, fired back that the problems were highlighted by the AG long ago but were yet to be attended to, and would result in another disclaimer at the end of the year.
“Today is the exco meeting, yet we do not have agendas,” said DA caucus leader Sibongiseni Majola using this as an example of lax management.
"If you look at the issues that led to the disclaimer, they are the same problems we are dealing with six months into the new financial year year, we are heading for yet another disclaimer,” he said.
Njilo said despite the disclaimer opinion, the municipality would meet all its financial obligations and service delivery imperatives.
"The leadership of the municipality is taking full responsibility of the outcome and as a team; we will be addressing issues raised by the AG to restore the confidence of our ratepayers," he said in the statement.
“As the mayor, I will make certain that all systems, controls and procedures are overhauled,” said Njilo.
Majola raised some of the concerns during the budget adjustment debate yesterday. “One of the things pointed out was out debt book which is alarming at R2.2 billion. Trades like water and electricity are under performing.”
“We also raised concerns about the fact that too many officials in this municipality have bodyguards, as though they were politicians. This is expensive and makes them inaccessible to the public,” Majola said.