The civil right organisation AfriForum believes the ANC’s mismanagement has plunged municipalities into chaos. The Auditor General’s (AG’s) 2016/2017 municipal audit report indicates that municipalities have deteriorated significantly in respect of audit outcomes.
Morné Mostert, Head of Local Government Affairs at AfriForum, says that the Public Protector’s report on state capture shows that state structures cannot enforce accountability.
“Because of political reasons, these institutions are unwilling to address illegal activities and poor management. The question begs whether National Treasury should entrust funds to municipalities if these municipalities cannot even provide evidence on how these moneys were spent?”
The AG also pertinently pointed out that local government spheres clearly fail to promote accountability and that there are no consequences for mismanagement. The audit outcomes of only 16 municipalities improved, while 45 worsened. Irregular spending increased by 75%.
Dr Eugene Brink, Strategic Advisor for Community Affairs at AfriForum, says that the AG’s report is completely disregarded.
“The AG’s most recent report reveals the poor management of municipalities prominently and clearly. Its statements agree with what Nhlanhla Nene, Minister of Finance, and Zweli Mkhize, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, have said since the beginning of the year about problems in the local government sphere. The crisis can no longer be denied.”
Brink also argues that especially provinces dominated by the ANC on provincial and municipal level show deterioration.
“This is symptomatic of the ANC’s corruption, mismanagement and cadre deployment. In KwaZulu-Natal 13 municipalities’ audit reports deteriorated, while seven in the Free State deteriorated without a single municipality improving. And yet Ace Magashule, under whose premiership the Free State experienced this deterioration, is the current ANC Secretary-General.”
According to AfriForum, the answer to these municipal ailments is for communities to take responsibility for their towns themselves, rather than waiting for the state to render services.