RUSTENBURG - Financial accountability and performance management continued to deteriorate in North West municipalities, the North West provincial legislature heard on Thursday.
"In the 2017/18 financial year, we saw an increase on disclaimer audit opinions, from eight in 2016/17 to 13 in the financial year under review. The majority of the irregularities are due to non-compliance with supply chain management legislation, as seen with the increase in irregular expenditure from R4.3 billion from previous financial years to R4.7 billion as in the 2017/18 financial year," business executive at the auditor-general office in North West Success Marota said.
"The irregular expenditure of previous financial years is not properly dealt with through investigations. Municipal Public Accounts Committees are not functional in most cases - or empowered - and are incapacitated to implement effective consequence management," he said.
Marota was speaking at a North West legislature dialogue convened to address root causes and challenges facing municipalities in the province.
North West Finance MEC Motlalepule Rosho told the gathering that there had been a consistent decline in the performance of provincial municipalities in recent years.
"This decline has happened despite the capacity building and support and intervention by the North West provincial government," she said.
"Within our system of problems is a political problem that requires a political solution. Some problems also include deficiencies in institutional arrangements, governance and leadership challenges, and lack of consequence management such as municipal officials getting away with gross financial misconduct during the VBS matter.
"There is a culture of non-payment to the municipality for services provided and non-payment by the municipality for services received or rendered," she said.
"We are implementing organisation structure reviews for the municipal budget and treasury offices, professionalisation of local government offices and up-skilling of municipal finance officials.
"We are also providing support to 13 municipalities that are in financial crisis as well as implementing an integrated and collaborative approach of intervention and support to municipalities in financial crisis, together with other organs of state."
African News Agency(ANA)