Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu’s local government audit results for the 2018-19 financial year have found that out of the 257 municipalities in the country, only 20 have been awarded clean audits.
Most of the municipalities with clean audits are in the Western Cape and Gauteng. Makwetu’s report found that municipalities have lost a total of R32 billion in irregular expenditure, fraud and corruption.
He says the undesirable state of deteriorating audit outcomes indicates that some local governments are slow in implementing, and in many instances even disregarding his office’s recommendations.
Makwetu says a lack of controls among some local government role players is behind most of the adverse findings.
“If you look at many of the municipalities that we analyzed, because they didn’t apply proper controls, they run out of cash and to pay for the things they did last year. They wait for the equitable share of this year, when controls are not in place financial health risk accelerates. You get to a point where you are not able to pay for your staff.”