North West Legislature on Tlokwe Municipality’s performance

North West Legislature Portfolio Committee on Local Government happy with overall performance of Tlokwe but concerned about the non-establishment of Portfolio Committees

The North West Provincial Legislature's Portfolio Committee on Local Government and Human Settlements appreciated the overall performance of the Tlokwe Local Municipality in the 2014/15 audit outcomes but noted with concern the fact that Portfolio Committees have not been established after the 3rd of August municipal elections.

This was during an oversight meeting that the committee held with the Mayor of the NW 405 Local Municipality formerly known as the Tlokwe Local Municipality and Ventersdorp Local Municipality, Mayor Cllr, Khotso Khumalo and his senior management officials who presented their 2014/15 annual report.

Tlokwe Local Municipality, which has received an Unqualified Audit opinion for three consecutive years, has been merged with Ventersdorp Local Municipality to form the newly established NW 405.

Chairperson of the Committee, Hon Motlalepula Rosho was not impressed to learn that the Oversight report of the 2013/14 until the current financial year had not been processed by the Municipal Public Accounts Committee of the municipality as the MPAC was supposed to deliberate on the R57 million irregular expenditure incurred as well as other investigations.

To the Committee dismay, the MPAC Chairperson who accompanied the delegation from the municipality was the only member of the MPAC, all other members of MPAC are yet to be elected, therefore the Chairperson of MPAC could not process the reports on his own. It turned out that all other Portfolio Committees have not been established as well.

"We are not impressed that this municipality, with the history of performing so good has not established Portfolio Committees 3 months after elections. This hampers service delivery" said Hon Rosho.

Tlokwe Local Municipality Mayor, Cllr. Kgotso Khumalo, said the municipality 'takes the lashes with kindness and promise to pull up their socks and work very hard.' "We are custodian of hopes and dreams of our communities and we are entrusted with financial responsibilities, therefore there is no justification whatsoever not to have Committees that are functional" he said.

For the Ventersdorp Local Municipality, the Committee did not mince its words. The Chairperson said the municipality was in shambles, it has been receiving Disclaimer Audit Opinions. According to the Auditor General's report, there are no drivers for internal controls, inadequate leadership and there are no plans to address audit outcomes of prior years.

The report also states that goods and services were procured without inviting competitive bids; the municipality could not pay its creditors and the intervention did not yield expected results. The Committee recommended that the Acting Municipal Manager for NW405 must develop an Audit Action Plan and implement it. "She must also investigate irregular expenditure and send the reports to MPAC for processing. All these must be reflected on the progress report of the new NW 405 municipality in the next meeting.

"We also want the former Ventersdorp Municipal Manager's suspension report, there are issues that have to be followed up on the matter. The report on the burning of a building as this is an asset of the municipality, it must reflect on whether the building was insured, consequence management on the part of officials responsible if it was not. The Committee is expecting a full report on all issues raised by the 31st March 2017," said Hon. Rosho.

Source: Government of South Africa.

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