With funds not trickling down from national government, municipalities lack the funds for basic service delivery. Picture: THE SOWETAN
With funds not trickling down from national government, municipalities lack the funds for basic service delivery. Picture: THE SOWETAN

The report of auditor-general Kimi Makwetu on SA’s municipalities (Features, July 4-10) will be carefully analysed by the global ratings agencies when SA’s financial and economic health comes up for review. It is clear that most municipalities are guilty of gross financial ill-discipline.

Parliament must squarely confront this state of affairs. Democracy has many definitions, implications and consequences — but accountability is one of its most important components.

Our democracy will not survive if we allow this rot to continue unchallenged. Financial irregularities may be criminal acts and subject to prosecution under the law.

The starting point for remedial action, and for detection and successful prevention, is to create a work culture that counters impropriety, that values honesty and that puts the protection of the public first. This is achieved by leaders who value integrity, trust and openness. And it requires municipal staff who do the same.

State capture is a hot topic in SA. The auditor-general’s damning report suggests a situation that is tantamount to municipal capture by vested interests.

Farouk Araie
Actonville, Joburg

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