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SALGA to debate latest municipal audit outcomes at Business Day Dialogues

Posted: 21 June 2017



As South Africa embarks on the beginning of the current term of Local Government this year, the Auditor General of South Africa is due to release the 2015/2016 MFMA Audit Outcomes on Tuesday, 21 June 2017.  One can view these audit outcomes as a preview of the previous financial year, while in retrospect, one should also view them a mirror and a reflection for the 3rd Local Government period which came full cycle during the 2016 Municipal Elections. 

Notably, the outcomes over the 5-year timeframe of the last term of Local Government reflect a positive trend, which needs to be maintained and improved upon.  While strides were made, SALGA is using this period to reflect and acknowledge the work that has done by municipalities to improve financial governance and service delivery in the sector. While some municipalities are improving and maintaining the good status quo, focus should also be made to those who have regressed.
The audit outcomes picture at the beginning of this term of Local Government reflected only 16 auditees who received unqualified opinions with no other matters or “clean audit” opinions while the number at the end of this term shows vast improvement. 

SALGAs Municipal Audit Support Programme (MASP) together with other support initiatives has played a significant role in the positive trajectory achieved in audit outcomes over the last term. All support initiatives need to focus on the sustainability of improvements because in the current audit outcomes a number of auditees that had improved in the prior year then regressed in the current year. While this was offset by a larger number of new improvements this is not ideal.  

Following the release of the 2016/17 MFMA Municipal Audit Outcomes to be presented by the Auditor General, a panel discussion will be hosted through the Business Day Dialogues platform between SALGA and its stakeholders in Parktown, Johannesburg on Thursday, 22 June 2017.

The debate is intended for self-reflection and self-criticism to deepen a culture of accountability. It is also an information sharing platform for the local government sector together with its stakeholders.  The results from the latest audit sets a baseline against which the current term of Local Government must improve, and the Business Day Dialogues will unpack the results of the latest audit in a discussion titled:  Municipal Audit Outcomes – Inspiring an accountable and responsive term of government.

An address will be made by a representative from the Auditor General and the Executive Mayor of the Rustenburg Local Municipality who is also the National Chairperson of SALGA’s Municipal Working Group, Cllr Mpho Khunou. Panellists will consist of Municipal Managers of Local District Municipalities who will reflect on the journey towards attaining clean audits and sustaining them; Municipal Managers of municipalities which have progressed from qualified to improved audits through the support provided by SALGA’s Municipal Audit Support Programme (MASP). The National Treasury and Ernst & Young will provide information on procurement reforms for improved financial management and enhanced service delivery as well as partnering up with SALGA for sustainable and incrementally improving audit outcomes respectively.


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