The MEC for Finance, Ms Motlalepula Rosho, has called on the Provincial Executive Representatives (PERs) to utilize their expert technical knowledge, and experience to turnaround ailing local government sphere on the province. As part of its intervention measures in the implementation of Financial Recovery Plan aimed at improving sound financial management and performance, the provincial government has in line with provisions of section 154 of the Constitution of Republic of South Africa, deployed eight PERs to eight of the financially distressed municipalities in the province. They are expected to support municipal councils with the implementation of the Financial Recovery Plan.
“You are our extensions in municipalities that are under financial distress and we would like to change the lives of our people. We need compassionate compatriots and people who can think beyond profit in making an impact in the local government sphere. Our province is holding the red flag for poor performance and we can change that if you play your part. Your contribution can start to stimulate consciousness in the municipalities you are deployed to,” said MEC Rosho. She is optimistic that although the intervention programmes will not achieve overnight success, they will in the end yield desired outcomes.
Rosho was addressing the PER’s as well as consultants in municipalities during the round robin discussion with consultants which was held under the theme “Unlocking hindrances to improve financial management and reporting at municipalities in the province.” Key amongst the objectives of the discussion was to understand the challenges and hindrances the consultants face when providing services at municipalities, to communicate the expectations of the province and other oversight bodies and to map a way forward in terms of the effective use of consultants.
Expected to emanate from the discussion was to determine the root causes of the negative audit outcomes and how to address, to determine skills transfer and municipalities sustaining the support under the current challenges in the municipalities.
Skills transfer, particularly in the Budget and Treasury office, should become the heartbeat of the work we do. We always appoint consultants but when they unplug, the system collapses.
Mr Mthokozisi Sibisi, Business Unit Leader, Office of the Auditor General South Africa for North West Province informed the collective that North West being the second highest spending province on the use of consultants, there is not much value for money derived
Mr Sibisi stated that considering the previous municipal audit outcomes, there is not much positives to say about local government despite exorbitant amount paid to consultants to prepare financial reports including annual financial statement. He stated that hundred per-cent of auditees in the province employ consultants, however “there is not even a single clean audit”. There is no tangible value for work of consultants,” said Mr Sibisi.
He raised concerns inadequate or lack of record keeping which impacts on the work done by the consultants and the late appointment of consultants as flying in the face of government effort to transform local government.
On their part, consultants highlighted a number of issues as hindrances to their performance. They include lack of stability in key leadership positions, lack of commitment from management and the environment that is not conducive and fertile enough or receptive to support programmes/
Issued by North West Provincial Treasury