The City of Ekurhuleni welcomes the Auditor General’s 2016/17 financial year audit report which has revealed a complete elimination of unauthorised expenditure in the city.
While the opening balance in unauthorised expenditure stood at R67-million at the beginning of the financial year under review, the city managed to completely avoid any such spending in the 2016/17 financial year.
“The fact that this fifth administration achieved this in its first year of leadership bears testimony to our dedication to clean financial management and efficient administration,” says city manager Dr Imogen Mashazi.
The above successes must be attributed to the city’s rejuvenation and strengthening of governance committees, a move that has seen all the city’s procurement committees sitting on a regular basis.
“The city made commendable strides in promoting a more effective, accountable, responsive, transparent and clean local government. In its efforts to improve good governance, the city placed a premium on legislative compliance, strengthening of management practices, broadening participation, financial governance and dedicated customer care as well as striving for effective service delivery.
“Despite some notable challenges that may have impacted negatively on the city’s audit results and on the overall target achievement, the city recorded some positive strides regarding its performance against predetermined objectives and targets.”
At the top of the list, Mashazi said, was prudent financial management which resulted in the city priding itself of a healthy liquidity ratio in that it can continue with operations and meet its financial obligations for over 60 days in the case there is no sufficient revenue inflow from service charges.
“Indeed, we are presiding over an institution that has a low exposure to credit risk and thus far has been able to service both its long term and short term debts without default,” says Mashazi.
The other notable area of good performance is the city’s focus on delivering good quality services to the poor and previously disadvantaged areas.
“There was notable progress in the electrification of informal settlements, focused implementation of the reblocking programme to improve liability of informal settlements and the provision of a consistent and predictable supply of basic services (interim basic services) in informal settlements while maintaining good service standards in developed areas,” Mashazi added.
While the city targeted to spend 95 per cent of its capital budget, the actual expenditure recorded over the financial year under review amounted to 91.64 per cent. The reported expenditure is a significant improvement from the 87.88 per cent of the previous financial year (2015/16).
“This reflects our effectiveness in rolling out infrastructure programmes in road construction, water and sanitation, waste management and providing human settlements. It also demonstrates progress in our expansion of access to healthcare, social development, sports, arts and culture services.
Executive mayor Mzwandile Masina added: “These are enormous achievements. As we move forward, we need to take into account that citizens’ expectations of service delivery are real. We need to up our game to meet and even surpass the expectations of our people.”
While the city is pleased to note the significant improvements as recorded in the report, there is agreement with the Auditor General that more can still be done.
In this regard, the city will continue to implement sustainable improvements in overall financial management, governance and the availability of quality management information.
The city’s key service delivery milestones
Paved 61.618km of road
Added 79 stormwater systems
Upgraded sports, recreation, arts and culture facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts and libraries
Achieved a 1.35 per cent reduction of mother-to-child HIV transmission
Launched 21 chronic medication pick-up points
Six clinics were completed over this financial year
Spent about R20-m on the construction of three early childhood development (ECD) centres that are at advanced stages of completion
Spent about R155.5-m in the upgrading of existing ECD facilities
An increase of their annual bursary fund from R10-m to R100-m
729 peace corps were converted to traffic wardens
Spent about R12-m towards the construction of four EMPD precincts
Spent about R50-m in the purchase of specialised vehicles and equipment
Delivered 100 713, 240-litre sized bins to households
Spent about R65-m to upgrade dumping sites and about R39-m more on the purchase of specialised vehicles and equipment for waste disposal and recycling
Maintained the blue drop status of greater than 95 per cent
Managed to pay 84 per cent of supplier invoices in less than 30 days.