13 September 2016
Merging The Finance and Procurement Committee With The Executive Committee Will Enhance Transparency and Accountability
In a bid to ensure the effective use of public funds and enhance accountability, eThekwini Municipality’s full Council sitting today, 13 September 2016, approved the merger of the Finance and Procurement Committee with the Executive Committee (Exco).
The move, despite fierce objection from some members of the opposition parties, will in fact strengthen Mayor Zandile Gumede’s political oversight and guidance over the fiscal as well as financial affairs of the Municipality.
“As Mayor of eThekwini, I am charged with the responsibility of monitoring and, to the extent provided by the Municipal Finance Management Act, overseeing the exercise of responsibilities assigned to the accounting officer and chief financial officer. These will be my tasks on a daily basis,” she said.
The Municipal Finance Management Act further states that Gumede must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the Municipality performs its constitutional and statutory functions within the limits of the Municipality's approved budget.
Gumede’s role also includes providing political guidance over the budget process and the priorities that must guide the preparation of a budget.
Gumede also chairs the Executive Committee where all reports pertaining to service delivery and the prudent use of public funds are presented before being tabled for adoption before full Council.
Clarifying the reason behind merging the Finance and Procurement Committee with the Executive Committee, Gumede stressed that the powers and functions assigned to the Mayor must be exercised by the Mayor in consultation with the Executive Committee.
“I cannot delegate the powers I have been given by the people of eThekwini to anyone else. I will be driving the process very closely to make sure that I deliver on the promises I made to the people of eThekwini,” said Gumede.
Gumede added that ratepayers should not be misled into believing that the Finance and Procurement Committee merging with Exco will perpetuate corruption when it will in fact ensure the prudent use of Council funds.
Gumede, who came clearly prepared to clarify any issues where Council members needed clarity, explained in detail what her role entails.
This was a great boost for Council since it indicates the Mayor has a firm and unwavering commitment to service delivery and clean governance.
Deputy Mayor Fawzia Peer, who previously chaired the Finance and Procurement Committee, echoed Gumede’s sentiments adding that all committee reports were referred to Exco.
“The merger of the two committees will enhance accountability and transparency. The Executive Committee will be central is ensuring that the City once again achieves a clean audit. This will be a good platform to deliberate on all budget issues and supply chain management reports,” added Peer.
Issued by the eThekwini Municipality Head of Communications Unit, Tozi Mthethwa.
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