Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza has asked the Heads of Departments (HoDs) and municipal managers to voluntary leave their institutions before they are relieved from duty should their departments and municipalities get disclaimers from the audit reports.
Speaking at Exco Lekgotla in Skukuza inside the Kruger National Park today (Wednesday, 20 February 2013), Premier Mabuza said there would be consequences for the disclaimers whether in the provincial government or within the municipalities.
Mabuza explained that already the outcomes of the audit reports were "not looking good" and there would be consequences.
"If people know they have disclaimers, it would be better that they raise their hands and ask to be excused from their positions because we cannot keep quite any longer, there will be consequences.
"We are at the point that we must take necessary actions because a disclaimer in an indication of stealing. A disclaimer means that money has been spent but the vouchers are not making any financial management sense such that the Auditor-General cannot even make an opinion, this is not acceptable.
"As a ruling party, we have taken too much lashing from everyone, people saying we are corrupt, why must we take the lashing on your behalf? I still dispute the fact that we have hardworking heads of the departments and municipal managers," said Mabuza.
He said it was time to name and shame poor managers by relieving those with disclaimers from duty. According to the Premier, some municipalities would be put under curatorship as their performance was gloom and bad.
"If this is a route we have to travel, we have no choice but to take it. Next year is the election year, we would be expected to have concluded what we had committed ourselves to do. We would be expected to celebrate with the people the achievements we would have made, yet at the same time as elected people we would be admitting that we have failed to run the municipalities or to deliver the services," he said.
The Premier reiterated that departments should spend their remaining budgets before the end of the financial year as he will not accept the roll overs.
He insisted that all infrastructure development projects that were planned up to the end of this financial year must be concluded and roll overs will not be tolerated and there will be consequences.
He reiterated that the Department of Human Settlements was one area that was a thorn in the flesh which continued to unsettle his government.
"This department must shape up and must work hard to deal with the backlog that has been carried over and over. Forward planning would be very important for this department. They must turn things around immediately," said Mabuza.
Speaking about the up-coming State of the Province Address scheduled for next week Friday, Mabuza told the Lekgotla that he was not prepared to "stand on the podium and lie" because of the baseline information that would have been provided by departments. "If there are things we cannot afford, let us say so, because for all the things we promised and did not do, they now rest with me," he said.
He urged the Lekgotla to be upfront and specific about what government could achieve and communicate to the public.
"This year, our road ahead is going to be a very rough one, we are expected to double our efforts and ensure that we do things differently," said Mabuza.
The Exco Lekgotla is high level meeting mainly attended by all members of the executive council, heads of departments, executive mayors, chief executive officers of provincial parastatals, traditional leaders, government planners in an effort to plan and review programmes for the financial year.
This is the last Lekgotla for the current financial year, and the Premier has also urged the leadership of the provincial administration to pay special attention to the state of affairs in the municipalities and come up with possible solutions which could enhance their performance to the benefit of the people.