ETHEKWINI NEWS FLASH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

2 December 2015

Executive Committee Decisions - 02/12/2015

HISTORY MADE AS CITY ACHIEVES FIRST EVER CLEAN AUDIT FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE AND SERVICE DELIVERY 

EThekwini Municipality has achieved a clean audit for good governance and service delivery along with its two Municipal entities, uShaka Marine World and the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre.

It is the first time eThekwini Municipality has achieved a clean audit. The two entities both received a clean audit last year.

This is contained in the Audit Outcomes for KZN Municipalities for the 2014/15 financial year.

In his audit findings, the Auditor General found the financial statements for eThekwini Municipality were free of material misstatements. In addition there was no material of non-compliance with key legislation. It further found that the City’s report was presented in a useful and reliable manner as measured against predetermined objectives in the annual performance plan.

The consolidated financial performance indicators show that the Municipality is in a healthy fiscal position, which reflects the City’s strong commitment to the principles of accountability, transparency, anti-corruption, proper financial management and effective internal control systems.

The announcement that the City had received a clean audit was made at the Executive Committee meeting today, 2 December 2015. The news was warmly welcomed by the Executive Committee.

Deputy Mayor Cllr Nomvuzo Shabalala, who was chairing the meeting in Mayor James Nxumalo’s absence, said the City should be proud of the achievement.

“This is something to really be proud of. Congratulations to the team on achieving a clean audit. I am very excited about this as we achieved this while still focusing on service delivery,” she said.

City Manager Sibusiso Sithole agreed it was a historic achievement.

“It is the first time since eThekwini was established in 2000, that a clean audit has been achieved. A clean audit means that we have complied with the legislature of the Country after submitting our financial records which were untainted. It indicates that we have done well with our performance management systems and that we have delivered as a City,” he said.

Sithole said he was “extremely proud of what the City has achieved”. 

“Previously we received unqualified audit outcomes. So to receive a clean audit is great. It was achieved due to a number of factors including the commitment of senior management including the Mayor, Executive Committee, Council and managers. We have also strengthened our internal audit processes as well as our supply-chain management processes,” he said.

Sithole thanked all the dedicated staff who played a role in achieving this milestone but said the hard work was not over.

“We worked together as a collective to contribute to this outcome. But we have to now focus on maintaining this achievement going forward. We will do this by filling of critical vacant posts such as Deputy City Manager vacancies and strengthening our City Integrity and Investigations Unit. We must also improve our communication with stakeholders and the community and minimise public protests,” he said.

He added that irregular spending should also be further curbed and brought down to zero.

“Only two employees were found to be doing business with the City amounting to R46 000. That is a dramatic decrease from the past when employees were doing business with the City to the value of R36 million. This is a dramatic reduction,” he said.

Chairperson of the Finance and Procurement Committee Fawzia Peer said achieving the clean audit shows that funds were spent economically while maintaining high standards of service delivery. 

ETHEKWINI JOBS EVALUATION POLICY PASSED

The Executive Committee today, 2 December 2015, approved the proposed TASK Job Evaluation Policy.

The report, laid on the table at the meeting, sought the pre-approval of the Executive Committee for the implementation of the proposed TASK Job Evaluation Policy from the Governance and Human Resources Committee for adoption.

TASK is the recognized Job Evaluation System within the local government sector as approved by the National Executive Committee of South African Local Government Association.

The policy aims to ensure uniformity in a number of processes such as wage bargaining, sector skills training, employment equity and the organisation of education and training. It further seeks to achieve uniform norms and standards in the description of similar jobs and their gradings across the Municipality. 

The policy is applicable to all municipal employees, except the City Manager and managers who report directly to him.

Key principles of the policy include:

• The category 8 pay scales be utilised to determine the salaries of TASK graded jobs,

• Any post which undergoes a permanent substantial change in job content shall be reevaluated,

• No post in the Municipality shall be advertised and filled without having been subjected to the TASK Job Evaluation process and,

• The compilation of job descriptions shall be in the prescribed TASK format.

The City Manager is responsible for the implementation and maintenance of the TASK Job Evaluation System in the Municipality and he, or his nominee, shall take full responsibility for supporting and directing the job evaluation implementation and maintenance process. 

A Job Evaluation Unit shall be established by the City Manager to take responsibility of implementing and maintaining the job evaluation process.

PROPOSAL TO CONVERT WASTE TO ENERGY IN ETHEKWINI

A presentation was made to the Executive Committee today, 2 December 2015, to conduct a R20 million feasibility study into the possibility of turning excess waste into energy in the City.

The presentation was conducted by the Ladybird Economic Advancement Partnership (LEAP), which is a privately owned company established to help towns, cities and communities in South Africa by transforming excess waste into renewable energy solutions.

LEAP would conduct the study at no cost to the Municipality as the funds have already been secured. However there were some requirements for the Municipality for the study to go ahead.

The presentation revealed that there would be many positive spinoffs for the community if this project was implemented. This includes communities forming small businesses to collect the waste to be converted which would address unemployment as well as health benefits, as waste left uncollected and uncontrolled in communities impacted on health and sanitation.

Discussions with the City started in January and a Municipal delegation visited Newcastle, in the United Kingdom to see firsthand how the treatment plant worked, converting excess waste into renewable energy.

The presentation outlined possible benefits for the City which included further potential investment and the delivery of a long term road map which includes developing entrepreneurialism, empowering women, sustainable waste management and energy self-sufficiency.

City Manager Sibusiso Sithole said eThekwini as most cities faced challenges of waste sitting in landfill sites.

“Cities need to manage landfill sites and this new technology can turn waste into energy with by-products that can also be used by the Municipality. This will ensure no waste just lies around. The project also accommodates generated sludge as well. We should agree with this in principle,” he said.

Sithole suggested a technical team be established with relevant units such as Durban Solid Waste, Water and Sanitation and the Legal Unit, to investigate the feasibility of the project and whether it would work for the City. The team would then report back to the Executive Committee to make a decision.

“There is an issue of what will happen to the generated electricity. But there is no doubt, this project would be beneficial,” Sithole added. 

Chairperson of the Finance and Procurement Committee Fawzia Peer described it as a brilliant idea as waste was a big problem in the City.

“The feasibility study is not going to cost us anything. I like that it will encourage entrepreneurship and empower women. If we have that plant, people will take waste there themselves for it to be converted. We would welcome innovations like this,” she said.

ENDS 

Issued by eThekwini Municipality’s Communications Head, Tozi Mthethwa.

For more information members of the media can contact Gugu Sisilana on 031 311 4855 or email: gugu.mbonambi@durban.gov.za​ or Princess Nkabane on 031 311 4818 or princess.nkabane@durban.gov.za 

Please read this confidentiality disclaimer: Edisclaimer