COSATU Free State taken aback by the AG report on FS municipalities

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) in the Free State is shocked but not surprised by the contents of the Auditor General Report on local government. We note with grave concern that fruitless as well wasteful expenditure has increased during the period under review. We also note that there are municipalities who failed to submit documents to the AG for auditing purposes.

It’s unfortunate that FS municipalities continue to be among the worst performing municipalities, that there is no accountability and that this status quo remains unchallenged. The state of municipalities in the province is well known. After the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs released damming findings through its diagnostic report presented in parliament, no effort has been made to address the situation. We expected COGTA to exercise its constitutional powers to robustly correct the situation, however it is seemingly treating our local government with kids’ gloves.  

There are currently section 106 reports that were compiled but the councils are hindering the presentation of these reports. COGTA’s lack of action is proving it to be extremely toothless. This has been proven in Mangaung, the only metro in the province, where the intervention team spent almost 3 years but has had nothing to show for it. As it is, there is no promise for change.

The shocking amounts of money revealed as fruitless and wasteful expenditure are unacceptable. This act is robbing our people of basic services and our people deserve better and need to receive a clear explanation from those in charge.

Things must change for the better; it can’t be correct that out of 23 municipalities not even one performed well. Despite this, the same municipal managers, CFO’s and directors are retained. However, when junior employees transgress, even a minor misconduct, they are subjected to a ruthless disciplinary process.

We expect the councils to act swiftly and apply the same rigorous consequence management to all senior managers in order to improve the standard of LG in the province. COSATU will be closely monitoring provincial COGTA and Treasury’s role in ensuring strict oversight.

The report of the Hawks on the investigation conducted into the state of our municipalities doesn’t resemble a true sense of consequence management. Only a percent of senior managers was involved in their investigation. We are also concerned about the pace of the Hawks in their work.

COSATU FS is willing and available to join hands with progressive forces in seeking to enforce accountability.

The struggle continues!

Issued by COSATU Free State

Enquiries Provincial Secretary Monyatso oa Mahlatsi @ 051 447 5499 or 076 115 9923