By Zukile Majova
The auditor-general has flagged over R1.5 billion as irregular expenditure in the eThekwini Metro.
And Mayor Mxolisi Kaunda’s administration met just 46% of its planned performance targets for the year.
Auditor-General representative Vanuja Maharaj said: “Management did not implement preventative controls in the environment to ensure a reduction in the incurrence of irregular expenditure.
“A lack of effective consequence management resulted in a lack of accountability.”
But the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal issued a nice statement congratulating the mayor and his executive for a job well done.
This is in sharp contrast with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s promise of consequence management in ANC-run municipalities, where underperformance would no longer be tolerated.
The Public Finance Management Act defines irregular expenditure as “expenditure, other than unauthorised expenditure, incurred in contravention of or that is not in accordance with a requirement of any applicable legislation”.
The ANC said in a statement: “We salute the Mayor Cde Mxolisi Kaunda, Municipal Manager Musa Mbhele and the Chief Financial Officer, Dr Sandile Mnguni… Our deployees in the municipality are empowered to promote sound processes, controls and improved capabilities in order to reduce unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure, thereby improving audit outcomes.”
Just this week, on Wednesday, a sign board was put up at Umhlanga Beach saying the beach had been closed because of reports of the presence of E. coli after chemical testing.
It said: “Bathing temporarily closed due to poor level of E. coli.”
The last time Kaunda was told about the dangerous inflow of raw sewage at the Durban beachfront, he put on his swimming costume and dived in.
In August 2022, the Auditor-General outlined that just 6% — R125 million — of the R2 billion allocated as part of the KZN Floods Relief Fund had been spent.
The provincial government and the municipalities have been trying to force the National Treasury to reduce compliance regulations for accessing the R2 billion set aside to fix infrastructure that was destroyed by the April 2022 floods.
Pictured above: Some Durban beaches still closed because of ecoli