Pretoria: Five municipalities under the Zululand District Municipality have benefitted from the municipal workshops hosted by KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Treasury in an attempt to help municipalities achieve clean audits.
The municipal workshops, led by MEC for Finance, Ina Cronje have been held throughout the province with an aim to address the state of financial management in all municipalities in the province.
Part of the objective of the workshops was to assist municipalities to get clean audits and improve their management of municipal finances.
To fulfil this task, the Municipal Finance at Treasury, working with, other units such as Economic Analysis, Internal Audit and Supply Chain were conducting workshops in Municipalities across KZN to tackle the challenge.
The municipalities that benefitted during the workshops held at the Old Legislature Building in Ulundi on Thursday include Zululand District Municipality, Ulundi Municipality, Nongoma Municipality, Abaqulusi Municipality, Phongola Municipality and eDumbe Municipality.
Speaking at the workshop, Cronj, assured the delegates from all corners of the district that the workshop is not about criticising or pointing fingers to the district but to robustly and earnestly engage the district about the information at the provincial treasury’s disposal.
“Our role as Provincial Treasury in the municipalities relates to municipal finance. We also concentrate on capacitating the municipal political leadership, so that they can be empowered with relevant knowledge on how to tackle and engage the financial reports which they always receive from the officials and to avoid unintended political interference.
“Politicians have to be empowered so that they know what questions to ask. Officials can present good looking reports which are not factual. It is crucial for us as politicians to ensure that we understand what is expected of us and to engage officials accordingly” said Cronj,.
Zululand District Municipality Mayor, Zanale Magwaza-Msibi welcomed the financial management skills that came with the Provincial Treasury in a bid to strengthen the district financial managerial skills.
“We pride ourselves as a district that we have been able to achieve unqualified audit reports for the past 11 years. We are a rural district with many challenges in terms of finances. This workshop was an eye opener for the district and I throw down a gauntlet to all the local municipalities under Zululand district to gear themselves towards clean audits in the next financial year because it is possible.
“Our obstacle this far towards realising clean audits as a district is water because as a rural district we supply most of our communities with free water resulting to a lot of illegal connections, but we have identified the problem and we are dealing with it and I can promise here that in the near future we will be on clean audits,” said Magwaza-Msibi.