While some municipalities in KwaZulu-Natal received unqualified audits, those that underperformed should have restrictions on bonuses, KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka said on Thursday.
He said that in practice, bonuses should not be paid to officials at underperforming municipalities, which emerged from the Auditor-General's (AG) report for the 2017/18 financial year.
"We would also like to see a situation where mayors and municipal managers who failed to apply due diligence having all wasted public funds recovered from them. [All] rules must be enforced if they are to yield the desired outcomes. We need to get serious about improving our municipal audit outcomes across the board," he said.
He urged all municipalities to analyse the AG's findings and "implement immediate consequence management measures where required".
Hlomuka said Cogta would assist municipalities to improve through targeted support programmes and regular engagements, especially with municipalities that are performing poorly.
He said they would not condone "repeated failure where there is no evidence of improvement".
The latest audit shows that 34 KZN municipalities have received unqualified audits (including one clean audit), 13 had qualified opinions, six had adverse findings and one had a disclaimer.
Hlomuka congratulated the municipalities which had unqualified audit outcomes.
"This is a reflection on the hard work by their officials and such hard work must be acknowledged and encouraged going forward. Ideally, we would like this success repeated and improved upon in the audit outcomes for the 2018/2019 financial year."
Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu released the latest municipal audit report on Wednesday and in it, poor finances, mismanagement and corruption were laid bare.
He said that only 18 out of 257 municipalities in South Africa received clean audits - a lower statistic than the 2016/2017 financial year, when 33 out of 257 municipalities received clean audits.