Umjindi’s annual report rejected

The Municipal Public Accounts Committee (Mpac) was forced to reject the annual report of the former Umjindi Local Municipality (ULM).

It also expressed serious concern about the City of Mbombela’s cash flow during the recent special council meeting.
Committee chair Kenneth Mkhontho pointed out that the City failed to adhere to previous recommendations by the Auditor General (AG).

“Then we could have avoided sitting down to discuss issues that were supposed to be prevented,” he said.
The committee had to reject the annual report of the former ULM as it contained no figures. It had to redo it, but only submitted the new report to Mpac last week. The committee also noted that the AG found that the achievements of planned targets it achieved were not reliable.
Eight months after being sworn in, councillors did not have tools of trade, such as laptops. The committee observed it hindered their ability to perform oversight. Speaker Mandla Msibi instructed the relevant department to expedite the procurement thereof.
It was also decided that an official should be dedicated to monitor the municipality’s Eskom account, to ensure all monies owed were paid in time and avoid fruitless expenditure.

The newspaper understands that the municipality has paid back the R50-million overdraft it obtained to pay its Eskom debt in January.

For employees, Mpac noted that performance-management reports were absent, also for managers, and a shortage of staff performing internal audits delayed processes, and did the executive’s late response to questions posed by the committee.

It was recommended that consequence management be applied strictly and immediately and that quarterly reports be submitted to council in time, and every three months, to council after being internally audited.
The EFF’s Lucky Shongwe welcomed the report, saying a lot of irregularities were taking place since the amalgamation. “Finally a committee is speaking our language. It is detailed and addresses issues taking the community backwards.”
He mimicked Mkhontho in calling on all present to adhere to the recommendations this time. “Please can we adhere to all these recommendations,” he concluded.

Mireille de Villiers

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