The North West Legislature’ Standing Committee on Provincial Public Accounts (SCOPA) has strongly condemned an irregular secondment of Beverly Gungqisa as municipal manager at Madibeng Local Municipality.
This follows the Municipal Finance Management Act public hearings for the 2020/21 audit report where the Standing Committee resolved to return the municipality as it could not recognise the seconded municipal manager to the municipality.
The Acting Head of Department at Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Ms. Mamorena Moloko confirmed before the Committee that the seconded accounting officer was not appointed as per departmental secondment policy. “The acting Municipal Manager was chosen from our database but we did not follow proper processes as she is not on public service nor did we follow due processes on seconding officials to municipalities and other local government entities as part of the intervention mechanisms,” said Moloko.
According to the audit report for the 2020/21 financial year, Madibeng local municipality’s audit findings remained unchanged with disclaimer audit outcomes based on material limitations obtained on the annual financial statements, and that unauthorised, irregular and fruitless expenditure incurred as a result of contravention of supply chain management processes and litigation..
SCOPA Chairperson, Hon. Job Dliso informed the Committee that as the department failed to follow secondment processes to appoint acting accounting officer with the municipality, the Committee will not recognise the acting municipal manager. “It has become a trend as seen in Maquassi Hills local Municipality where the department does not follow its own policies to appoint personnel through secondment measures thus becoming illegal and highly irregular. We expect our Committee to work and hold municipalities accountable where correctly seconded individuals can account on finances incurred and on the audit findings.
“We also cannot be seen as Standing Committee that legitimises wrongfulness within our municipalities done by departmental officials who are not following the law to the latter by appointing individuals who are not even working for government as prescribed on various pieces of legislation. The department must correct the issue and ensure that whoever is properly appointed can implement the municipality’s post audit action plan to the latter. SCOPA will never abdicated its role of ensuring that there is compliance with Legislation therefore Department and Municipality must adhere to the Law.
“The Municipality must provide us with all projects under the financial year under review which must include the Madibeng Bus Rank where R27 million was spent but the area is just a white Elephant and there is no value for money. Madibeng Local Municipality has been classified by the office of the Auditor General as one of the worst performing municipalities over the years hence it has experienced many years of disclaimer audit opinions which is disheartening as many projects where left unfinished and it affects service delivery,” said Hon. Dliso.