Municipal workers union, Samwu, has disputed the statement by Limpopo Premier’s office that all the province’s municipalities received poor audit outcomes due to a shortage of skills.

Samwu secretary, Patrick Aphane, says the municipalities continue appointing people with no skills instead of seeking skilled workers.

Auditor General (AG) Kimi Makwetu announced that not a single municipality in the Free State, Limpopo and the North West received a clean audit. He said pervasive control and monitoring failures were among the causes.

The AG’s report indicates poor management across most municipalities with only 18 out of 257 of South Africa’s municipalities obtained clean audits. Twelve were in the Democratic Alliance (DA) controlled Western Cape.

Aphane says it’s a concern that the municipalities financial management and governance are collapsing.

“We do not agree that there are no skills, because it is a choice that municipalities made to appoint people who do not have skills; then come back to say there is no skills. They must appoint people with skills. One of the functionalist that have misused that monies are CFOs and therefore a collective of R1.2 million ought to have assisted service delivery a lot. We can’t afford to have CFOs that can misuse R1.2 million.”

According to the Auditor General report, all 27 municipalities in Limpopo, including 22 local and five districts, have failed to receive clean audit outcomes.

The AG says the collapse of VBS Mutual Bank will add to service delivery problems in Limpopo in the future. Eight of the province’s municipalities had illegally invested in VBS Mutual Bank.

Those municipalities which have lost more than a billion rand in the VBS deposits have received poor audit outcomes. They include Collins Chabane municipality which was formed after the 2016 local government elections.

Limpopo Premier Stan Mathabatha‘s office has voiced concerns over the province not receiving a clean audit outcome.

Premier’ spokesperson, Kenny Mathivha, says they’ve noted with concern the audit outcome on municipalities.

“We are quite concerned as a province that most of our municipalities haven’t actually progressed in the audit because of the VBS collapse. It was a concern. This report is for 2017/18.

“We have had interaction with the AG a few weeks ago, they showed that, because they have a dashboard report, it looks like in the coming audit we will have improved significantly,” Mathivha defended.

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