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Municipal Finances Get The Nod
The eThekwini Municipality has welcomed the unqualified audit report on its financial affairs issued by the office of the Provincial Auditor-General. Presenting the report for the 2009/2010 financial year at a recent full Council meeting, Herman van Zyl of the AG’s Office said the Municipality had, over the years, consistently achieved unqualified audits. Deputy Mayor Logie Naidoo, who chairs the Economic Development Committee, thanked the AG’s office for assisting the Municipality in the achievement. “We have a sound financial status and a good credit rating, which bodes well for the future,” said Naidoo.

City Manager Michael Sutcliffe said, “Although the Auditor General has given the Municipality an unqualified audit report, we acknowledge the areas of concern pointed out and we will continue to work hard to ensure that this Municipality achieves a clean audit by 2014.” Some of the matters raised by the AG include irregular expenditure amounting to more than R532-million, mainly as a result of awards to suppliers being in contravention of the supply chain management regulations, and material losses relating to water, electricity and bad debts written off during the year.

Meanwhile, the Council’s Executive Committee (EXCO) has backed further consultation on a proposed R910-million loan from a French Development Agency. The matter was tabled at Exco on Tuesday, following an “in principle” decision by the Council last month to approve the loan for the Municipality’s landfill gas-toelectricity project. But the ANC caucus then requested that proper consultation take place first. Mayor Obed Mlaba said, “We felt it was important to thoroughly scrutinise the loan agreement so that when we take the final decision we are fully informed.” A further report is due before EXCO on 15 February. The loan facility expires on 1 April.
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