Gordhan calls for greater productivity and efficiency in managing municipal finances
8 Oct 2012
The culture of “cutting tenders in dark corners” ultimately cripples municipalities from delivering on their core mandate – this was a stern message delivered by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan when addressing delegates at the at the 83rd Institute of Municipal Finance Officers (IMFO) conference currently underway in Kempton Park.
Gordhan said that when a municipality pays two to three times the normal price for a service; it is the poor that eventually suffer. He pointed out that greed amongst officials and business people was at the core of corruption.
“The root cause of not providing the right services is often blamed on insufficient funding, yet huge sums of municipal funds go unspent. The need for greater productivity and efficiency is glaring.”
The road to finance competence begun today at Emperor’s Palace with 1600 delegates attending the 83rd IMFO conference. The delegates comprises of mayors, chief financial officers, city managers and accounting professionals converging to put under microscope the handling of municipal finance.
Welcoming delegates at the three day conference, the Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) on City Planning and Economic Development, Councillor Bennet Nikani said the complexity of the world economies has placed enormous pressure on municipalities to attract competent accounting professionals.
“This conference is not a mere intellectual talk about figures but it directly talks to the resources of service delivery and how they should be used to improve the lives of our poor people. In the City of Ekurhuleni we depend on these accounting professionals for improved accounting systems and sound financial management systems. Moreover, we depend on them for sound investment decisions,” Councillor Nikani said.
Nikani added that without the accounting professionals, we would not have achieved the unqualified report that the Auditor-General pronounced on the City of Ekurhuleni over two months ago.
Pre-empting Gordhan’s address the MMC said Council is currently setting up a fraud hotline to launch an offensive on fraudsters and to discourage would be fraudsters
“We do hold in high regard the principles of good governance, and we are pulling all stops to deal with fraud and corruption to ensure that integrity permeates throughout Ekurhuleni,” he emphasised, citing the freezing of assets of three former employees as a typical example of city’s seriousness to deal with fraud and corruption.
The conference ends on Wednesday, October 10.
Ocean Hlengiwe Makalima
Institute of Municipal Finance Officers
Tel: 011 394 0879
Cell: 082 556 7984
Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality
Tel: 011 999 0094
Cell: 072 515 3022
Issued by: National Treasury
8 Oct 2012
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