The Limpopo ANC has vowed to take tough action against deployees who deliver bad audit results in provincial departments, districts, and local municipalities – but this will have no effect on the economic, environment, and tourism departments.
This comes after the department outperformed the competition in the 2022-23 audit outcomes, obtaining four clean audits. The department also received clean audits from three of its subsidiaries, the Limpopo Gaming Board, Risima Housing Finance, and Agribusiness, under MEC Rodgers Monama.
Furthermore, the national department of tourism named Limpopo the preferred tourist destination for 2022-23, beating out strong challengers such as the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and Mpumalanga.
Speaking after the announcement, Monama, who is in Singapore on an official trip, singled out three things – hard work, dedication, and teamwork – as the secret for his outstanding achievement. “Year in and year out, premier (Stan) Mathabatha calls on us to go the extra mile in order to produce clean audits,” he said during an interview. “I’m happy to say his call has not fallen on deaf ears.
“This is an unprecedented achievement in terms of the accountability ecosystem because corporate governance is the only legacy government can bequeath to the future generation. Through teamwork, we promise Limpopo residents that the sky is the limit.”
Mathabatha branded Limpopo a disclaimer-free province in his state of the province address (Sopa). Nonetheless, numerous departments received qualified and unqualified audit conclusions from the auditor-general, indicating that this goal was not met.
For example, the Mopani district municipality, which had to deal with more than 20 years of inadequate spending and financial mismanagement in municipal infrastructure grants, ended up with disclaimer audit results for three years in a row.
Last year, the ANC in Limpopo, with the assistance of the ANC Youth League, threatened to take action against deployees who did not spend their entire allocation. The party also urged MECs and mayors in the 11 provincial ministries and 27 local and district municipalities to pull up their socks or face harsh repercussions from the party.
The call was made last year in September, but the question will remain: will the ruling party live up to its threats or is its stance just another political ploy to garner votes for next year’s elections?
Speaking to The Citizen during a recent media briefing, ANC provincial secretary Reuben Madazhe said all government deployees were expected to discharge their duties to the best of their ability every financial year.
“Our people expect better and so is the ruling party,” he said. “We should at all times become visible in communities, complete projects and deliver basic services such as water, road infrastructure, electricity connection, housing, and better primary healthcare and education. We must also ensure we account for every cent we spent in our quest to deliver top-notch services.”
For those who produce poor audit outcomes and end up returning money to National Treasury, Madazhe said “they must just know that we are not smiling and that heads are going to roll”.