Today, 31 March 2021, the Auditor General of South Africa (AG) tabled the audit outcomes of the City of Ekurhuleni’s 2019/2020 financial statements in an extraordinary council meeting in Germiston.
The City is proud to announce that it received an overall clean audit opinion from the AG. A clean audit outcome occurs when submitted financial statements free from material misstatements (in other words, a financially unqualified audit opinion) and there are no material findings on reporting on performance objectives and non-compliance with legislation.
In late 2016, the fifth administration of the City of Ekurhuleni initiated a turnaround strategy for the City’s finances coined, “Operation Clean Audit”. The interventions introduced by the plan included a skills review of personnel working within the Finance Department, monthly reconciliations of key accounts, stringent policy implementation checklists and an agile framework for responding to legislative developments, especially during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Compliance with the Municipal Standard Chart of Accounts (mSCOA) also served as a fundamental pillar of ‘Operation Clean Audit’. The City’s Audit Committee conducted quarterly reviews of internal processes and interrogated the City’s performance to ensure that the administration remained committed to improving the control environment. It is the oversight from the Audit Committee, which also contributed to the effectiveness of the turnaround strategy, which has translated to the positive audit outcomes.
To date, ‘Operation Clean Audit’ has produced a series of positive results, among others:
- The City employed a suitably qualified City Manager and Group Chief Financial Officer, who is also a certified Chartered Accountant
- The City committed ZERO irregular, unauthorised, fruitless and wasteful expenditure for the past three consecutive years
- Three unqualified audit opinions received from the AG over the past three years
- Maintained compliance with the mSCOA for the past three years
- Successfully introduced an Integrity Management Framework to reduce fraud and corruption in the City.
“I am delighted that our vision of receiving a clean audit opinion from the AG has finally come to fruition. As we begin to enter a post-COVID-19 era, there is no time when it has become more important for government institutions to provide ethical and honest governance over state funds. Every cent of the taxpayers’ hard-earned money must go towards revitalising our local economy and providing the necessary relief and public services for households to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Executive Mayor Cllr Mzwandile Masina.
“As our term of office comes to an end as the fifth administration of the City of Ekurhuleni, this clean audit outcome must stand as a benchmark for the incoming administration. With the systems we have introduced in the institution, the focus must turn to building a resilient city that can leverage the opportunities presented in the fourth industrial revolution and withstand the shocks brought forward by potential future global pandemics, uncertain global polity and climate change.
“I want to take this opportunity to thank the political and administrative leadership of the City, our coalition partners and council for their commitment to clean governance.”
Issued by the Office of the Executive Mayor of the City of Ekurhuleni