South Africa: It's a Systems Breakdown Across the Country, With Only 18 Out of 257 Municipalities Receiving a Clean Audit

Photo: lejecos

The latest audits into local government by the Auditor-General paint a bleak picture of ongoing system failure and dysfunctionality in South Africa. The financial health of most municipalities is poor, with some flouting governance laws, disregarding recommendations made by the independent audit body, and in extreme cases, issuing threats against auditors sent in to assess their performance.

Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu has expressed, yet again, his disappointment and concern over the financial health of municipalities in the country. Announcing the 2017/18 municipal audit results on Wednesday 26 June in Pretoria, he said:

"This undesirable state of deteriorating audit outcomes shows that various local government role players have been slow in implementing, and in many instances even disregarded, the audit office recommendations".

Makwetu said his team of auditors had faced threats and that the audit environment had become more "hostile, with increased contestation of audit findings and pushbacks whereby our audit processes and the motives of our audit teams were questioned". His auditors were pressurised to change their findings in some municipalities, to hide negative reports and irregular expenditure.

"Instances of threats to and intimidation of our auditors were also experienced in most of the provinces," Makwetu said.

The consolidated audit report...

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