The mandate of this department is to ensure a Local Government system that is able to respond to the needs of the citizens. This is a onerous mandate requiring our best efforts
“No to the destruction of state property during service delivery protests,” so said MEC for Cogta in the East-ern Cape Province FD Xasa. Speaking during a panel discussion organised by the Ntabankulu Local Munici-pality MEC Xasa said leadership in local municipalities should always ensure that they listen to peoples com-plaints and provide response.
He said public participation programmes are key to ad-dress the basic service delivery needs of communities including water, electricity, road infrastructure and wa-ter. Ward based planning is one of our focus areas contained in the Policy Speech for 2015/16 financial year.
The panellists included representatives from the reli-gious fraternity, traditional leaders and the ruling ANC. The event was attended by representatives from gov-ernment departments, business sector, school princi-pals, community based organisations, ratepayer and hawker associations.
“We need to form partnerships with communities to contribute towards moral regeneration and build social cohesion in areas where we live. Crime, child and women abuse should be dealt with by all stakeholders in communities. We need to become a selfless nation to make a difference to the lives of our people.”
MEC Xasa added that fighting crime is not a responsi-bility of government alone, but communities as well have a cardinal role to play as “eyes and ears of our government to work together and build the South Afri-can nation.”He said education remains a priority for government to deal with many challenges facing the country and communities.
Ms Sindiswa Mankahla appealed to government to consult communities whenever there are changes to its programmes including the issue of demarcation to pre-vent service delivery protests erupting. “Ntabankulu is the poorest of poor and we ask government to develop entrepreneurs to fight unemployment in our area,” she said.
Mr Magidela Selby Manga from the Department of Edu-cation appreciated good work done by government, however, complained about bad access roads to schools, vandalism of schools by pupils and members of the community.
“We request assistance from members of the School Governing Bodies and traditional leaders to lend a helping hand to stop vandalism to ensure a conducive learning and teaching environment and a bright future for our kids,” said Mr Manga.
A representative from the Alfred Nzo Council of Churches Reverend Mawande Lugongolo made an ap-peal to government to address “low morals” by some public representatives who work for government.
The Internal Audit Directorate of COGTA recently hosted a two day Municipal Chief Audit Executive (CAE) Forum in Umtata. The forum was graced by the presence of representatives from the Auditor General’s Office (AG), Price Water House Coopers (PWC) and Internal Auditors from various municipalities and Operation Clean Audit (OCA) of the COGTA, reports Vuyolwethu Sigaji
Delivering the purpose of the forum, the Senior Manager of Internal Audit , Ms Nonkululeko Kweyama said the forum was established for all internal Auditors within municipalities in order to share best practices, successes and the challenges facing municipalities’ internal audit throughout the province. “The purpose of this forum is to take the effectiveness and performance of internal audit divisions within municipalities to a higher level in order to improve governance, controls and risk management processes thereby improving audit outcomes. The objective of the forum is also to formulate solutions for the identified problems”, said Ms Kweyama.
She further explained that the forum is intended to establish and maintain good working relations with all Internal Auditors within the province and to work together to find ways of ensuring that stakeholders understand the function of Internal Auditing. Ms Kweyama encouraged Internal Auditors to do their best in improving Internal Auditing systems, and work together for clean administration in local government.
The CAE from Price Water House Coopers, Mr Bulumnko Kwetama presented the State of the Audit Profession Study in South Africa. He said in this year’s findings there are significant differences of opinion between stakeholders and CAEs on the nature of what is expected of internal audit units. “We as internal auditors must work hard to change these perceptions, strategically build the right capabilities and raise Internal Audit’s performance and value. We must ensure that we develop an Internal Audit Communication Strategy in order to clearly communicate Internal Audits mandate to our internal stakeholders,” he said.
Mr Derek Ollsson from the AG’s office presenting the functions of the AG at the forum said in order for citizens to reap the benefits of a well- functioning local government, municipal councils must empower themselves with credible performance information.
He further said they should take ownership of developing and maintaining proper systems and processes for managing and reporting of service delivery information.
“This implies that leadership from municipalities must set up service delivery plans that can make an impact, regularly monitor service delivery reports. They should further ensure that corrective action is taken when actual performance is below expectations,” said Mr Ollsson.