The reason why the North West Province has earned the status of the worst performing region when it comes to service delivery responsibilities in the country is because of the dismal performance of the 22 municipalities in the region.
And the reasons why this sickening status keep on recurring at the end of every finance year is because the financial management of most municipalities starting from their Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) down to their most junior ranks are not capable to handle issues of financial administration properly.
According to earlier Democratic Alliance (DA) statements, most of these reasons also include the fact that employees charged with the responsibility of looking after the municipality’s financial interests were clearly totally not adequately qualified for these positions.
These, the DA argued, are cadre appointments. They are mere political appointments where the “preferred CFO” looks after the financial interests of the principals (who have ensured that these “financial illiterates but politically correct” individuals are appointed into these lucrative positions).
Many of them have been elevated to these posts through and for corrupt reasons and nothing else. They are not even ashamed. They carry-out their evil deeds clearly with the assistance of equally corrupt senior politicians, senior managers, finance clerks, municipal councilors and service providers linked and doing business with these institutions.
What is even more worrying is the fact that these officials are not operating without the assistance of another group of equally corrupt consultants appointed corruptly and fraudulently whose questionable contracts keep on being renewed every year without them having developed or leaving behind skilled municipal employees. These so called consultants remain part of these dare-devil operations in these institutions where financial mismanagement and general financial irregularities are the order of the day.
For these reasons, it remains unclear how the provincial administration, the department of local government or even the Auditor-General in the province will ever be able to stop these unacceptable practices and finally turn around the poor performances in these entities.
These are reports and allegations of common knowledge raised almost daily in public circles. We are surprised that law enforcement agencies have not moved to investigate these allegations. Maybe, just maybe, the law enforcement teams are keeping their operations close to their chests away from the public and probing media eyes.
It was therefore not by mere coincidence that the MEC responsible for the provincial Treasury, Motlalepula Rosho reacted with anger, expressed concern and disappointment that municipal CFO’s had failed to attend last week’s quarterly provincial CFO forum organized by the Provincial Treasury’s Municipal Finance Management (MFM) Programme.
Only CFOs from Mahikeng, Matlosana, Ditsobotla, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, Maquassi Hills, Dr RS Mompati, Madibeng and Rustenburg attended the quarterly forum.
MEC Rosho appreciated the level of commitment, participation and contribution by those in attendance and said those municipalities that were committed to the cause of doing their bid to change the face of local government would be the first to be incentivized through public private partnership with the banking sector.
The MEC argued that “public servants who are committed are weakened by officials who are not committed. It is indeed disappointing that the very same municipalities fingered in dismal performance annually were the ones which had no representation at the all-important gathering. It was shocking to say the least!