Ekurhuleni’s unqualified audit report lauded by EFF

Jongizizwe Dlabathi, ANC chief whip in Ekurhuleni. Picture: @ThabangMashiya1/Twitter

Jongizizwe Dlabathi, ANC chief whip in Ekurhuleni. Picture: @ThabangMashiya1/Twitter

Published Mar 13, 2024


Despite chaotic scenes that have characterised the state of affairs of the Ekurhuleni metro, with a stalled motion of no confidence against its mayor Sivuyile Ngodwana, the EFF has welcomed the Auditor-General’s unqualified audit opinion.

But the ANC in Ekurhuleni said the DA-led coalition that presided during the 2022/23 financial year should collectively take full responsibility for the regression of the audit outcome.

“The EFF Gauteng welcomes the Auditor-General’s recent audit report of the City of Ekurhuleni. For the financial year 2022/23, the City was granted an unqualified audit opinion, indicating sound financial management and reporting practices.

“This report by the A-G effectively counters baseless allegations by certain political groups. These allegations suggested that the City had neglected to submit its financial statements and concealed the A-G’s findings from the public,” the party said on Tuesday.

The clean audit findings comes just as the City was embroiled in a motion of no confidence against Ngondwana which two weeks ago turned violent as members of the council engaged in fist fights.

On Tuesday, the mayor survived another day when council speaker, Nthabiseng Tshivhenga, adjourned proceedings to seek a legal opinion on the matter after the ANC and the DA made amendments to their submissions.

The EFF, which is in support of the current mayor, welcomed the adjournment while the DA has indicated that only the removal of the mayor will save the City.

“While the EFF puppet mayor, Ald Sivuyile Ngodwana, was still not removed through a motion of no confidence, the DA in the City of Ekurhuleni (CoE) still believes that only fresh elections can save the City,” DA caucus leader, Tania Campbell said.

The motion, initiated by ActionSA has been a source of controversy in the City, resulting in many fights and pickets outside the council offices on Tuesday.

Campbell said the DA tabled an amendment to the motion calling for the council to be dissolved and for new elections to be held.

“We tabled an amendment to the futile motion of no confidence and called for council to be dissolved in order to have fresh elections, where residents can vote for a renewed mandate.

“This amendment was vetoed, and used as a reason to end the meeting by speaker Nthabiseng Tshivenga.

“Her so-called call to seek legal advice on the matter is a desperate attempt to avoid the motion of no confidence from being voted on by council.

“What we have seen today is a party desperate to cling to power, the City is turning into a national disgrace,“ Campbell said.

The DA has accused the EFF and ANC of collapsing service delivery and has called for the council to be dissolved.

ANC caucus leader, Jongizizwe Dlabathi, said these irregular and fruitless expenditures were under their watch. But he, however, applauded the administrative efforts of ensuring that the metro did not end up with a worse audit opinion.

Dlabathi implored that the necessary corrective measures be put in place to restore the attainment of the clean audit.

He expressed the ANC’s disappointment, saying that the municipality moved from a clean audit in 2021/22 financial to an Unqualified Audit Opinion with Material Findings in the 2022/23 financial year.

“The regression is mainly attributable to non-compliance with the Supply Chain Management Policy (SCM) ... The disappointing audit outcome signals a lapse in the internal controls that were maturing and subsequently producing the back-to-back clean audit during the ANC-led City of Ekurhuleni,” Dlabathi added.

This outcomes confirmed the party’s observation about the lack of prudent political oversight on matters of finance and supply chain management, he said.

The metro’s MMC for Finance Nkululeko Dunga welcomed the report, saying that it countered what he termed baseless allegations by certain political groups which suggested that the metro had neglected to submit its financial statements and that it concealed the Auditor-General’s findings from the public.

Dunga said the EFF had consistently maintained that the City adhered to its obligations by timely submitting its financial statements.

“The party has denounced the unfounded and dishonest criticisms aimed at me as the Finance MMC. These accusations, deemed malicious, seem strategically aimed at undermining the EFF’s image before the 2024 general elections.

“Such allegations were seemingly bolstered by an unrequested assessment from the now questioned Moody’s rating agency,” he concluded.

The party said it also welcomed the A-G’s recent audit report, which it said meant that the metro was in good financial management and reporting practices.

“In line with principles of accountability and exemplary governance, the EFF’s public officials have consistently upheld transparency in their administrative roles.

“Nevertheless, the EFF strongly condemns the DA for their objectionable reaction — exiting the council meeting and refusing to engage the report presented by the Auditor-General — due to its failure to support their narrative.

“The EFF Gauteng welcomes the audit findings and applauds the commendable efforts of its representatives in the City of Ekurhuleni.

“We encourage the residents of Ekurhuleni and Gauteng at large to recognise the effective governance under the EFF,” the statement read.