The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) says mayors and accounting officers must guard against the unnecessary use of consultants in their respective municipalities.

Audit outcomes of municipalities for the 2019/2020 year financial shows that municipalities spent a total of one billion rand on consultants alone.

The office of the Auditor-General says despite this, only 28 percent of municipalities were able to submit quality financial statements for audit during this period.

SALGA says permanent staff must be skilled to perform audit functions effectively.

“Rather capacitate their own internal staff to be able to undertake the work and SALGA to intensify financial management capacity building efforts so as to assist in reducing reliance on accountants. To add to this point we find it unacceptable that a one billion rand can be used to prepare financial statement yet you have material mistakes,” says SALGA councillor Bongani Baloyi.

VIDEO: Municipal audit outcomes – R26 billion in irregular expenditure