AfriForum criticises deterioration in municipal audit results
26 June 2019
The civil rights organisation AfriForum lashed out at the ANC and government because of the deterioration in municipal audit results and their pusillanimous attitude towards accountability. This follows the publishing by the Auditor General (AG) of the results for the 2017/2018 financial year today.
Morne Mostert, Head of Local Government Affairs at AfriForum, says it is a shame – but no surprise – that deterioration is once again noticeable. “We have seen this over several years. Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa’s dream of megacities is a farce if we cannot even apply basic accounting principles.
“The Constitution requires municipalities to provide local communities with responsible and accountable governments. The AG is a Chapter 9 institution that indicates how well municipalities adhere to these standards. It should serve as proof that the ANC fails not only in providing communities with basic services, but also in adhering to the standards set by the Constitution.”
Dr Eugene Brink, Strategic Advisor for Community Affairs at AfriForum, says that the AG’s work became not only more difficult over the last two years, but also more dangerous. “The AG’s staff are threatened and refused access to buildings, records and financial statements. They have even witnessed violence as corrupt and incompetent municipal officials attempt to cover up their misdeeds.
“Local governments are that level closest to the communities, and if these do not function properly, there will be major discontent and chaos. However, this is the case today in many a local municipality. The ANC-controlled government and municipalities should be held accountable for this mess and provide answers to taxpayers and residents.”
Mostert and Brink argue that it simply isn’t possible for the state to hold itself accountable, and that there is a complete lack of leadership and will to transform. “This is why civil organisations are increasingly fulfilling this role,” Mostert says.
Issued by Carina Bester, Media Relations Officer, AfriForum, 26 June 2019