ANC welcomes municipal audits

Johannesburg - The African National Congress has welcomed the progress of financial management by municipalities, as announced in the release of the 2012/13 municipal audit outcomes in Pretoria on Wednesday.

"According to the report, fifteen more municipalities and an additional two municipal entities got clean audits," ANC national spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said in a statement.

"There is also an overall total of 63 improvements across various categories of audit opinions recorded."

Auditor General Kimi Makwetu announced earlier that nine percent of municipalities and municipal entities achieved clean audits in the 2012/13 audit review.

This compared to five percent for the previous year.

Of the 319 audits, 22 municipalities and eight municipal entities had unqualified audits with no findings, otherwise known as clean audits. Of the 30 clean audits, 13 had sustained this distinction from the 2011/2012 audit.

Makwetu praised those that achieved clean audits, saying their accountable management and leadership meant they could provide additional evidence to support their financial statements.

The SA Local Government Association also welcomed the municipal audit outcomes.

"As South Africa marks 20 years of democracy, we celebrate a significant increase in the delivery of basic services to the citizens of our country," spokesperson Karen Reyneke said in a statement.

"The report reflects these improvements as derived from the 2011 Census results: 85% of households have access to electricity, 91% of households have access to piped water, and 95% of residents have access to toilet facilities."

Salga noted the increase in the number of auditees having received unqualified audits with no findings opinions, as well as a notable decrease in the number of auditees with adverse or disclaimer with findings opinions.

"We believe that the auditor general's report is a key indicator of the state of local government and the information... is aimed at empowering oversight structures as well as leaders in local government to focus on issues that will result in reliable financial statements."