The City of Tshwane is negotiating with the Auditor General to avoid a qualified audit opinion.
The Democratic Alliance is in possession of a copy of the 30 November 2015 version of the Auditor General’s Management Letter to the City of Tshwane leadership as well as a copy of the audited Annual Financial Statements of the city upon which it was based. This Management Letter is a damning indictment of the financial state of the city. It is not clear on what basis the city can avoid qualification if not actually a disclaimer by the Auditor General.
However, we are concerned by the fact that in terms of the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA), the Auditor General’s prescribed schedule, his audit report for the city had to be signed off by end December 2015 (Section 126(4), MFMA). The Management Letter is dated 30 November 2015 and there is no reason why the audit report could not have been signed off by or before the legislated end December cut-off time.
It is a serious matter for the audit report not to be ready by the prescribed date. When the Auditor General is unable to sign-off on an audit report before the end of December of any year he has to submit a report to Parliament, The relevant Provincial Legislature and to the Municipality concerned to explain the reasons and circumstances of the default.
Despite the fact that Tshwane’s audit report has not been completed, the AG has to date failed to comply with section 126(4) of the MFMA to provide reasons for the delay.
We are aware of discussions between political office bearers of the governing party and the Auditor General regarding the political implications of a qualified audit for the capital city of South Africa in an election year and that the final sign-off by the Auditor General is being held back pending the outcome of these discussions. We believe that a dangerous precedent is being created by these discussions and the delayed sign-off and we call on the Auditor General not to allow the independence and integrity of his office to become impaired by anything done as a consequence of these discussions.
Already the process of democratic oversight is being seriously impaired by this delay as councillors have not yet received the Audit Report and audited Annual Financial Statements for the City that are to be tabled at the Council meeting of 28 January 2016. This means that it is too late for councillors to prepare thereon as both the report and the Annual Financial Statements are voluminous and complicated documents that need to be studied carefully before any meaningful debate could be had about it.
We sincerely hope that the Auditor General will not in the process of finalising his current audit report on the City of Tshwane derogate the integrity of his office.
Together, with Tshwane residents we can stop the cancer of corruption, grow the economy, create jobs and ensure that all citizens have access to services and opportunities.
We are also committed to ensuring every cent of public funds is spent on improving the lives of Tshwane residents.
The DA will bring change to Tshwane. Change that stops corruption, the mismanagement of public funds and starts service delivery.
DA Tshwane Mayoral Candidate
083 612 0492