CFOs are key driver of service delivery
Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) are the important cog of service delivery machinery and it is critical for them to operate at a much higher level than other senior managers in an effort to ensure that the Municipal Managers are running the affairs of the municipality without deviating from the legislation. Without their strategic role backed by a clear financial plan, acceleration of services to the communities cannot be realized.
This was said by the MEC for Finance, Motlalepula Rosho when addressing the reconvened Municipal Chief Financial Officers forum held in Mahikeng.
MEC Rosho said CFOs are the powerhouse and the heartbeat of service delivery and as such they need to understand the critical role they play as key drivers of service delivery.
I have for the longest time wished and longed for an opportunity to engage with the heart of our municipalities, that is the Chief Financial Officers. CFO are the heartbeat of municipalities because they are in charge of strategic component and the strategic resources of our municipalities. We can plan as much as we would wish but without the finances, nothing will be achieved. Basically, without proper financial management, all institutions collapse, said Rosho.
MEC Rosho appealed to them not to be coerced by politicians to execute illegal instructions but rather to go as far as advise council not to adopt unfunded budget and come with financial recovery plans. She said they need to fully understand the provisions of Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) and Treasury Regulations to protect themselves from discharging unlawful instruction.
She said MFMA expects high levels of integrity, ethics, knowledge and compliance.
She said most municipalities have collapsed due to the fact that CFO’s have been compromised and this has contributed to the looting, embezzlement, misappropriation and the theft of government funds. She said those who engage in financial transgressions and wrongdoings will be dealt with harshly and will face the full might of the law.
As Provincial Treasury, we will deal harshly with municipalities that fail to take actions against CFOs who continue to transgress laws. We will be doing this because we do not understand why municipalities fail to execute their financial management functions while Provincial Treasury provides so much support, she cautioned.
She further appealed to finance managers to ensure that service providers are paid within 30 days of submitting invoices as legislated but that should not only be for malicious compliance, but that value for money principles are adhered to. She said creditors like the power utility Eskom and Water Boards need to be paid on time in order to avoid huge interest charges for late payment of accounts which lead to irregular expenditure.
Source: Government of South Africa