Just 27 of South Africa's 257 municipalities have a clean bill of financial health, according to the local government 2019/20 audit. That's 10 less than in 2017 when the present crop of municipal politicians came into office. Some R5.5bn was spent -- without anyone able to say what for.
Four months before the 2021 local government elections scheduled for 27 October, the state of municipalities is dire. According to Tuesday's local government audit outcomes briefing to MPs, just more than a quarter of South Africa's municipalities, or 27%, themselves say they don't know if they can continue -- and almost one in four councils, or 57, failed to deliver any kind of financial statement by the statutory audit deadline.
The good news is that there are 27 municipalities with clean audits, including one of the eight metros, Ekurhuleni.
Whether it's Okhahlamba in KwaZulu-Natal, Nkangala in Mpumalanga, Witzenberg in the Western Cape or Senqu in the Eastern Cape, these municipalities' clean audit -- unqualified with no findings in auditor-speak -- have the administrative and political leadership that is interested in ensuring financial controls are in place, procurement regulations are followed and consequences for contraventions are imposed...