Widespread "rent-seeking and corruption" between public representatives and businesses were at the heart of the infrastructure crisis bedevilling municipalities, warned Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu in his assessment of the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent’s (Misa’s) books. Makwetu also identified the appointment of unsuitable candidates and a lack of skills at municipal level as impediments to infrastructure development. Misa incurred R44.6m in irregular expenditure in 2016-17 because of a failure to follow proper tender processes. The agency is a vital cog in local government infrastructure because it helps municipalities to develop technical capacity. Misa’s administrative successes and failures largely tracked those of the councils it assisted. However, the rot at municipalities was compromising the agency’s sustainability. Makwetu noted in Misa’s 2016-17 audit commentary that in a number of areas local government was failing to meet citizens’ expectations of infrastructure...

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