AG report: Clean audits for only 9 new municipalities

The auditor-general (AG) local government report has been released, showing the audit outcomes of 263 municipalities and 51 municipal entities. Unfortunately, there was little improvement in the local government audit outcomes for the year 2015/16, and very few municipalities achieved clean audit opinions.

According to the report, 14 municipalities lost their clean audit opinions, while just nine joined the category of clean audits. A total of 49 municipalities achieved clean audits.

The province with the highest proportion of municipalities with clean audit opinions was the Western Cape (80 percent), followed by KwaZulu-Natal (18 percent) and the Eastern Cape (16 percent). North West, Northern Cape and Free State delivered the poorest audit results, the report said. Gauteng was the only province to receive unqualified audit opinions on its financial statements.

The report also found that irregular expenditure had increased by more than 50 percent, to R16.81 billion. Talking through the report results, Kimi Makwetu (pictured), Auditor-General, noted that irregular expenditure does not necessarily represent wastage or mean that fraud has been committed. He added that such claims would need to be confirmed through investigations.