eThekwini Metro Absurdly Celebrates Abysmal Audit Outcomes

During yesterday’s council meeting, the Auditor-General (A-G) tabled its audit outcome for the financial year, which we saw the city absurdly celebrating its ‘unqualified’ audit opinion, despite its findings.

With leading issues such as crumbling infrastructure, lack of basic service delivery, unauthorised and irregular expenditure, as well as the lack of consequence management of senior management while the city drowns and rots in sewage, it brings us no satisfaction that the Municipality achieved an ‘unqualified’ audit opinion.

Currently, the Municipality has incurred R1.5 Billion in irregular expenditure, which is a concerning 94% increase from the previous year’s financial record.

The Municipality has failed to implement measures to recover millions of ratepayer rands that were irregularly spent. Currently, the Municipality has a closing balance of irregular expenditure of R4.8 Billion.

What is most shocking is that no disciplinary measures have been put in place against individuals who abuse funds meant to bring much-needed service delivery to the people of eThekwini.

Of the budget that was allocated to the Municipality by Treasury, only 6.59% of it was spent on maintaining aging infrastructure and infrastructure damaged due to theft, vandalism and the April 2022 floods that devastated eThekwini.

eThekwini has recorded a water loss of 56% due to decrepit infrastructure over the past 5 years, and with the Municipality failing to spend their budget adequately by fixing and repairing infrastructure, this has the potential to give rise to water shedding in the City, poorly affect the economy and have devastating effects on agriculture.

The Municipality unsurprisingly achieved only 46% of its targets for the year. These abysmal audit findings have a serious and very palpable human cost.

We believe that political parties in the Municipality should shy away from blaming the African National Congress (ANC) for Municipal failures and learn from their own mistakes of supporting the ANC and instead support an alternative power-sharing arrangement.

It is now in the hands of all opposition parties to unseat the ANC in the Municipality, and bring hope, stability, ethical leadership and good governance to the people of eThekwini.