KZN executive to meet with AG over local municipality

On Thursday Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube held a press briefing at the start of the council’s two-day lekgotla reflecting on the 6th administration’s service delivery.

On Thursday Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube held a press briefing at the start of the council’s two-day lekgotla reflecting on the 6th administration’s service delivery.

Published Feb 16, 2024


Durban — The KZN executive council has said that it would meet with the auditor-general (AG) on Friday (today) to discuss the uMngeni Local Municipality, which was found to have a deficit of R84 million in the AG’s report.

DA provincial chairperson Dean Macpherson said that when the executive meets with the AG they will explain that the R84 million relates mainly to non-cash items.

“R42 million write-offs for poor households. The municipality decided to help poor households with long outstanding debts. It is income forgone. R60 million was for the depreciation of assets. This is a non-cash item. R3 million was for debt impairments. Difference between rates billed and rates collected.”

He said this system was called an accrual accounting system and is based on projects and not actuals.

“On a cash flow analysis based on actuals, the municipality recorded a R12m surplus,” Macpherson said.

Details of a meeting with the AG were revealed on Thursday by Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube during a press briefing at the start of the council’s two-day lekgotla reflecting on the 6th administration’s service delivery.

She said that during its last sitting the council expressed concern about the municipality’s financial situation.

“This was a result of the auditor-general’s report and, despite the position of that municipality itself as a paragon of excellence, the report by the auditor-general paints a gloomy picture of how the executive council there is managing its finances, how the council there has failed to implement prudent financial management and adhere to principles of the municipal financial management act as well as other municipal systems act and other legislation.”

She said Friday’s (today) meeting with auditor-general Tsakani Maluleke would be for further reflection on her report and to make a commitment to the measures that have been put in place.

“The municipality in the report has unauthorised expenditure that runs into tens of millions of rand, they have a deficit of R84m which ... exhibits a complete collapse of a system.

“It is for this reason that it was resolved by the executive council that the MEC for Treasury and MEC for Cogta (Co-operative governance and traditional affairs) must urgently get closer to that municipality.”

Dube-Ncube said the lekgotla would also be used to reflect on the background of the subdued economic situation that has had a serious impact on the world economy.

“Our meeting is assisting in rearranging the basket available to us to deliver services to communities, at the same time looking at the last 30 years, looking at building the next 30 years.”

She explained that in the past five years the province had to contend with the Covid-19 pandemic and floods that devastated the province, starting in 2011 till 2024, adding that some people had not recovered their loved ones.

“All this cost us more than R100 billion. The five years could have been used as a building block to move with our intended plans. We have worked hard to retain investments in KZN, and the private sector has had very good responses in terms of investments.

“In 2019-2024, KZN committed to more than R18.1bn worth of new projects that created more than 20 000 jobs and more than 16 000 businesses were created during this period despite the sluggish economy.

“The lekgotla is reflecting frankly and honestly on the state of the economy, the government and fiscal position so that when we come out of it the community can see that we are a government at work.”

She highlighted the concerns that the council had over the killings of political and traditional leaders.

Dube-Ncube said measures were under way to identify hot spots and areas that were under threat in the run-up to the forthcoming national elections.

“We are working with various stakeholders, including political parties. The MEC for Community Safety has been having party dialogues and community dialogues in dealing with conflict issues.

“We are also working with the IEC (Electoral Commission of SA) and other interested parties to map out and ensure a conducive environment for peaceful and fair elections.

“Through the joint justice, crime prevention and security cluster and the multi-party political intervention committee, we have directed that a clear and proactive security plan be developed to monitor all areas under threat.”

The premier used the press briefing to set the record straight regarding the utterances of Salga KwaZulu-Natal chairperson Thami Ntuli. She described his comments about the implementation of the Moerane Commission as dangerous misinformation and untruths.

“Mr Ntuli does not appreciate that a lot of work has been done by the province and various stakeholders on implementing the recommendations of this commission.

“We have even gone to the legislature where the legislature was making an oversight over how we have been implementing the Moerane Commission recommendations.”

She said the recommendations had been implemented and this was a work in progress.

“It cannot be further from the truth what Ntuli is saying. We believe that leaders such as he need not want to be popular at the expense of our people by saying that nothing is being done while a lot has been done.”

She also tore into the IFP regarding the Ithala Bank.

“We want to dispel the general misinformation that is peddled by the IFP ... Without understanding the facts, the party (referred to) the impending closure of Ithala Bank. The MEC for Economic Development and Environment Affairs has clarified this matter in the media and community in terms of the legislation. We urge the IFP to desist from spreading unnecessary distortion. Ithala remains stable, viable and fully functional.”

Ntuli said: “As the IFP, we are still saying that they have failed the Ithala Bank because it has not yet received its operating license from the Reserve Bank.”

On the Moerane Commission, he said the government should acknowledge that people are being murdered.

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