The 2007/08 financial year was tough for the small eMadlangeni local municipality (Utrecht), as it was taken over by the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government, which installed an administrator following a series of bad audits brought about by poor financial management.
But things have changed for the better. The administrator was removed at the end of 2008 and on Tuesday, Utrecht mayor Joe Zikhali proudly joined four other KZN mayors whose municipalities received clean audits for the 2010/11 financial year at a function organised to celebrate the achievement.
Zikhali smiled broadly as he walked to the stage to receive an award for the achievement from Co-operative Governance MEC Nomusa Dube and Auditor-General Terence Nombembe.
“There are a number of things that we learnt when the department arrived to implement a turnaround strategy. One of the key lessons we learnt was to make a clear separation between politics and administration.
“That was to let politicians concentrate on policy formulation and oversight, while leaving administrators free to pursue their administrative tasks without interference,” said Zikhali.
He said each unit and department head learnt to understand the need to stick to supply chain management policies.
Municipal manager Velaphi Kubeka said a key contributor to achieving the clean audit was employing people with the correct financial skills.
Kubeka said targets and deadlines had been set by which all changes should be achieved.
The other municipalities that achieved clean audits were Richmond, uMtshezi (Estcourt), uMzinyathi district municipality based in Dundee and uMdoni (Scottburgh). – The Mercury
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Utrecht council doing better