Cogta MEC Xolile Nqatha has condemned the state of negative outcomes by some of the Eastern Cape municipalities as failing to live up to the title of being the Home of Legends. MEC Nqatha was speaking during the first leg of what he called ‘door to door’ Provincial Municipal Support Programme virtual engagement sessions.

In the Eastern cape two (2) municipalities received unqualified audits with no findings, fifteen (15) unqualified audit reports with findings, fourteen (14) qualified reports with findings, two (2) adverse, four (4) disclaimers and two (2) outstanding.

The first engagement session kicked off on Tuesday with Alfred Nzo followed by Joe Gqabi on Wednesday and Sarah Baartman today. The Local Municipalities under these Districts have also attended. The Province wide sessions are attended by the municipal political and administrative leadership officials and office bearers from Salga, Cogta and Provincial Treasury management teams. The programme will run until 19 August 2021.

MEC Nqatha said the door to door virtual meetings are geared towards getting to know and understand the state of the municipalities to provide targeted support interventions in line with Section 154 of the Constitution. The one size fits all approach does not yield the much desired positive outcomes. We want to plug in support where it matters most, said MEC Nqatha.

“The poor audit outcomes are a bad reflection to our Province which prides itself as the Home of Legends. The title is not an automatic accolade because our forebears across the political spectrum worked hard for us to earn it hence we must not squander it as the current generation. It is a fact that we are not branding ourselves and the Province appropriately. We have a responsibility to sustain the title by doing things differently guided by the relevant legislation in honour of those who came before us,” said MEC Nqatha. He added that only Senqu and Elundini municipalities remain the pride of the Province by receiving unqualified audits.

The meeting also heard that in Ntabankulu action was taken against the former Chief Financial Officer to recover money lost due to irregular and fruitless expenditure whilst in some instances the investigations are ongoing. The municipality was also busy cleaning its Annual Fiunancial Statements (AFS) to improve its audit outcomes.

MEC Nqatha commended the leadership of Ntabankulu and Matatiele municipalities for the prevailing stability as an ingredient to sustain efforts towards clean audits thus managing public funds carefully.

In Alfred Nzo the areas of concern were around outcomes of forensic investigations, disctrict wide water, sanitation challenges especially in Ntabankulu, late procurement processes thus resulting in under expenditure in grant allocations.

The Deputy Director General for Municipal Finance Governance in the Provincial Treasury Ms Bulelwa Nqadolo said Winnie Madikizela Mandela was the only municipality in the Province that conducts its AFS using own internal resources without outside help from consultants. “The municipality is the role model in the Province and the country,” she said.

All municipalities are expected to provide written reports for further examination and possible interventions through implementable action plans, said MEC Nqatha. //End//

Issued by Cogta EC. For more information, please contact Mamnkeli Ngam on 071 685 7981 or Makhaya Komisa at 066 381 8259.