ActionSA admits to some culpability in City of Tshwane adverse audit report

Tshwane Executive Mayor Randall Williams. Picture: Supplied

Tshwane Executive Mayor Randall Williams. Picture: Supplied

Published Jan 9, 2023


Pretoria - ActionSA in the City of Tshwane council has “to an extent” shouldered the blame for the problems identified in the leaked auditor-general’s (AG) adverse audit report on the municipality.

This follows recent criticism from the EFF, Republican Conference of Tshwane and the ANC, which blamed multiparty coalition, government partners including ActionSA, for being complicit in the shambolic financial management of the City.

Other coalition partners are the IFP, Cope, DA and Freedom Front Plus.

With at least 19 proportional representative (PR) councillors, ActionSA has three members as part of the political executive led by mayor Randall Williams.

Pretoria News understands that leaders of the multiparty coalition met on Friday to deliberate the leaked AG report and were expected to host a media briefing on the outcome of the meeting.

Asked to comment on the criticism against ActionSA’s role in the City’s poor financial mismanagement, party caucus leader Anniruth Kissonduth said: “When you are part of the government of the day you should, to an extent, take the blame for the problem. I don’t have a problem with that.”

He, however, called for action to be taken against officials identified as being liable for illegally benefiting from the supply chain processes.

“We take the leaked report in a serious light and we would like to see drastic action be taken by the city manager and the mayor,” he said.

According to him, both the City manager Johann Mettler and Williams have to come up with solutions to the problems.

The AG report found that some of the goods and services of a transaction value above R200  000 were procured without inviting competitive bids, as required by SCM Regulation 19(a).

The City failed to report allegations of fraud and extortion exceeding R100  000 to the SAPS as required by section 34(1) of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (Precca).

EFF Tshwane leader Obakeng Ramabodu said: “The adverse finding means Tshwane Municipality has misrepresented the financial statements submitted to the AG. In simple terms, Tshwane municipality has lied to the AG and fabricated statements, which do not exist in practice, thanks to the clean and good governance of the DA and coalition partners.”

The AG report painted a disastrous picture of the City’s financial management with irregular expenditure of R10.4bn and fruitless and wasteful expenditure understated by R1bn. Unauthorised expenditure was also being understated by R600m.

The municipality came under scrutiny for failing to properly account for assets worth more than R52bn and more than R800m was not properly accounted for regarding leave payments.

Williams said the City was committed to improving its future audit outcomes and that the National Treasury was further providing two former chief financial officers to assist the City.

The City will be bringing in an external auditing firm to begin provisionally auditing the first half of this financial year ending December 31, 2022.

The City's internal control system was questioned for being inadequate after the municipality was unable to provide information and supporting documentation to support the amount recorded for salaries and wages.

The AG was, as a result, “unable to determine by alternative means whether any further adjustments were necessary to salaries and wages stated at R7  426  322  798 as disclosed in note 36 to the financial statements”.

Pretoria News