No improvement in Mbombela’s finances

Mbombela mayor Cllr Sibusiso Mathonsi.

MBOMBELA – The Auditor General’s (AG) opinion of the finances of Mbombela Local Municipality (MLM) has not improved, but it has not worsened.

The AG’s report on MLM’s finances for the 2014/15 financial year was tabled to council during an ordinary meeting on January 28. The municipality again obtained an unqualified opinion, for the sixth consecutive time.

The capital expenditure amounted to 77 per cent, a “remarkable” improvement over the 39 per cent of the previous year. According to MLM’s annual report, its liquidity position remained of huge concern as the cash coverage ratio was less than two months.

It showed the municipality achieved 67 per cent of its targets in 2014/15. In the first six months of this year, 60 per cent of them had been achieved, according to the mid-year performance assessment report.

Payment of creditors had also improved substantially: trade creditors unpaid at June 20, 2014 stood at R619 million; on December 31 it amounted to R180 million.

In the second quarter MLM incurred irregular expenditure of R145 000, and fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R2,2 million.

The CFO also reported to council that the performance of bid committees had greatly improved in terms of members attending meetings in the second quarter over the same time in the previous year.

However, especially the bid evaluation committee faced a severe challenge in members not attending meetings, “such officials are causing meeting not to quorate and delaying the implementation of projects”.

Ahead of the local government elections, on February 2 Mpumalanga premier Mr David Mabuza said in a statement the municipalities had performed fairly during their five-year tenure.

“We have not done badly as a province, the results are acceptable. What we have done is on the positive especially regarding service delivery.

“Generally we have improved, although we could have done better,” he said.

“This is the year of elections that will be characterised by contestations that will seek to project the ANC-led government in a bad light in an attempt to undermine the leadership and moral legitimacy of the ruling party.

“We are facing serious fiscal constraints which will result in reduced allocations from the fiscus. Therefore, it is important to learn to do more with less, and ensure that we eliminate duplication and wastage in our service-delivery system,” said Mabuza.

Mireille de Villiers

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