On Wednesday, 20 April 2016, the North West Provincial Legislature’s Standing Committee on Provincial Public Accounts led by the Chairperson, Hon. Mahlakeng Mahlakeng has warned Madibeng local Municipality for continuing to pay for the secondment of their Municipal Manager, Mr. Monde Juta to Ditsobotla local Municipality, whose secondment period ended in January 2016.

The Committee held public hearings on the Municipal Finance Management Act audit outcomes of the financial year 2013/14 for Madibeng Local Municipality and 2014/15 for Rustenburg Local Municipality.

The Council approved the Department of Local Government and Human Settlements’ request to second Mr. Juta to Ditsobotla local municipality with effect from 4 August 2015 for six (6) months. The Acting Director for Public Safety, Fleet and facilities management, Mr. Energy Manaka was then appointed the Acting Municipal Manager.

SCOPA Chairperson, Hon. Mahlakeng Mahlakeng said the Municipal Council should be liable for paying Mr. Juta for more than the stipulated timeframe whilst the department only asked for six (6) months. “MPAC should’ve formally through Council meetings raised the issue as part of their oversight work when they realised that Mr. Juta’ secondment period is exceeded. The municipality should recuperate almost R270 000 that was paid for the exceeded period,” said Hon. Mahlakeng.

The Committee also resolved that Madibeng and Rustenburg local municipalities should prepare detailed answers that will address questions raised by the Committee on their Audit Report 2013/14 and 2014/15 respectively. Madibeng Local Municipality failed to correctly submit answers on the Municipal Finance Management Act audit outcomes of the financial year 2013/14 and Rustenburg Local municipality on the audit report for 2014/15.

“We are unhappy that the Committee had to wait for over two (2) hours for the Acting Mayor and senior management of Madibeng local municipality. When they were about to present their report, it was clear that they had no clue on what the report is all about and we can only attribute to the fact that everyone is acting in the municipality from the Mayor; Municipal Manager and Chief Financial Officer. No one can take a full responsibility on all sorts of things and that creates a major problem for us.

“From our discussions with the Auditor General, even the audit report for 2014/15 that they are supposed to be dealing with now, if we use his words, it is in fact ‘pathetically out of line’. It is clear that we would urgently have to attend to leadership issues of that municipality if we want to succeed,” said Hon. Mahlakeng.

In the year under review (2014/15 financial year), Rustenburg local municipality incurred an unauthorized expenditure of R13 394 000 and unauthorized expenditure in respect of prior years of R550 629 000 that was not dealt with in accordance with section 32 of the MFMA.
He said with regards to the municipality, although the Committee is happy that they moved from a Qualified audit opinion in 2013/14 financial year to an Unqualified audit opinion in 2014/15 financial year, there is an issue of how the municipality responded to the Provincial Public Accounts Committee questions.

“What we do in the Provincial Public Accounts Committee is not to have responses that are ambiguous. We want to have responses that can be clear and direct to the point so that any public member that picks up the document can be able to read and understand. They must go back and redo them,” said Hon. Mahlakeng.

For more information contact Namhla Luhabe at 079 527 0628.