Bafo Khanyeza | Municipal Nightmare – What the Ministry of Finance and Auditors Could Have Done Better


Residents of Setlagole village in the northwestern local municipality of Ratlou brave the scorching sun as they queue for water at a reservoir, which is filled by trucks provided by the state.

There isn’t much to analyze about a municipality that has received so many negative opinions and disclaimers. Because it cannot simply be due to non-compliance with PFMA requirements and financial reporting. It’s just anarchy, says Bafo Khanyeza.

Faucets don’t just run dry. Wastewater does not just flow through the streets, passing through the homes of residents. Infrastructure projects are not simply abandoned. A car doesn’t just hit a pothole in the middle of the city. And garbage doesn’t just do not pick up for weeks. It all starts with poor governance or corruption, and the dismal audit results of the Municipal Financial Management Act (MFMA) 2020 bear witness to this.

Could the finance department have intervened? It is surely possible and should intervened. Even if there was no legislation that would tackle this problem, the Ministry of Finance through the National Treasury has the duty and the power to enforce and promote transparent and efficient use of resources in terms of of Article 6 of the Financial Administration Act (PFMA). (g). This means that even if there was no legislation dealing with corruption, the National Treasury could and should have commissioned a research study which would have formed the basis of any necessary legislative amendments. Even the government procurement bill that was recently submitted for public comment does not contain any clause that even attempts to address oversight and accountability.

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