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Less than half of the accounting officers and CFOs employed by the country’s 257 municipalities meet the minimum competency levels required for them to perform their functions. Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene indicated on Tuesday that steps are being taken to ensure that municipal officials acquire the requisite skills. Co-operative governance and traditional affairs minister Zweli Mkhize has also highlighted the dire lack of technical engineering skills. A lack of skills at municipal level means that service delivery is compromised. The paucity of financial management skills is apparent in the number of qualified audits for local government compiled by the auditor-general. In a reply to a parliamentary question by DA MP Kevin Mileham, Nene said that only 94 of the 193 accounting officers met the minimum competency level and 79 of the 218 CFOs did so. Not all the municipalities had these officials because the posts were vacant. Even large cities did not have fully competent officials...

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