Johannesburg - The Congress of SA Trade Unions has called for a national debate on a
turnaround strategy for municipalities across the country.
Reacting to the auditor general's (AG's) report on local
government on Tuesday, Cosatu said it painted
a grim picture of incompetence, maladministration and waste of public money.
"Cosatu demands that there must be an urgent national
debate on how we are going to turn round this disaster," it said in a
On Monday, AG Terence Nombembe's report showed that only
5% of municipalities had obtained clean audits for the financial year
None of the metros received clean audits and 13% of the
audities did not submit financial statements on time for auditing.
Procurement to the value of R3.5bn could not be audited
because municipalities had not provided the required information or
In 46% of the audited municipalities, contracts were awarded
to employees, councillors, and other state officials.
A total of 54 municipalities collectively underspent their
budgets by R3.7bn.
"This is R3.7bn which should have been used to improve
the lives of the people, especially the poorest South Africans, with more and
better services," Cosatu said.
It said the report explained the number of angry and violent
service delivery protests in poor communities.
"There is now clear evidence that money which had been
budgeted for schools, houses, clinics, running water, sewers and roads was
simply not being used for its intended purpose."
In his report, Nombembe identified skills shortage, service
delivery, procurement procedures and errors in financial information as major
Opposition parties also called on the government to take
action against those found to be on the wrong side of the law.
Cosatu said there was a need for a change in the mindset of
those running the municipalities.