Zille dares Zuma to release municipal audit report

President Zuma has been urged to make the results of an audit of SA’s municipalities public before the elections, so that voters go to the polls “fully informed”.

According to a statement released by the Mpumalanga department of cooperative governance and traditional affairs, only seven of the 283 municipalities audited around the country received clean audits, and three of them were in that province.

President Jacob Zuma must make the full Treasury report on the audit outcomes of municipalities public before local government elections next week, DA leader Helen Zille said on Wednesday.

This would allow voters to go the polls fully informed, she said.

“I am issuing a personal challenge to President Zuma: make the full report public before South Africa goes to the polls next Wednesday. Give every voter the opportunity to make a fully informed decision before they cast their ballot.”

Zille’s call came after a Beeld report that Cabinet had refused to release the report. According to the newspaper, the report details how 46 municipalities have not issued audit reports, 70% of financial information from municipalities is unusable, 48% of financial information submitted by municipalities is not trustworthy and almost 25% of municipalities can’t produce the necessary supporting documentation.

“The report paints a damning picture of the state of municipal finances across the country and explains why ANC-run municipalities have failed to deliver a better life for all,” said Zille.

“The people have a right to know how the governing party in their municipality has performed before they vote.”

She called the refusal to release the report a “cover-up” and said Zuma should make the document available to the public without delay.

Meanwhile, three municipalities in Mpumalanga that received clean audits for the 2009/2010 financial year were congratulated by Madala Masuku, the provincial minister for cooperative governance and traditional affairs on Wednesday.

“The good performance by our municipalities indicates that the province is on course to meeting the target of operation clean audit 2014,” Masuku said.

“Such good performance can be attributed to paying special attention to good financial management practices and addressing challenges raised by the Auditor General in previous financial statements,” he said.

According to the department, the Victor Khanye and Steve Tshwete local municipalities, and Ehlanzeni district municipality were three of seven in the country that obtained clean audits. A total of 283 municipalities were audited. — Sapa

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