Ekurhuleni audit report saga has small parties urging for calm

A dispute over the municipality’s audit report has drawn the attention of minority parties in the City of Ekurhuleni.

This comes amid the dispute between the DA and the EFF regarding the existence of the audit report and its possible causes.

While Dr Imogen Mashazi, the seasoned city manager, lacks an audit report to present to the council, the blame game persists.

The DA has accused the EFF of trying to hide adverse findings since the party controls the finance portfolio in the mayoral committee.

But the EFF has retaliated, accusing the Office of the Auditor General of playing political games.

Since the EFF already obtained the city’s financial statements in August 2023, it has been contending that the auditor-general is hiding the report in an attempt to tarnish its image.

Minority parties in the city, known as the Super Seven, believe the bickering is bringing the municipality into disrepute and is unnecessary.

Cope, UDM, ATM, NFP, PAC, AIC, and ICM are among the parties that think public squabbles are blowing a teapot out of proportion.

The significance of transparency

“We have noted, with concern, the recent public spats and exchanges by political parties in relation to the said allegations, and we want to state that such actions place the city and its administration in disrepute,” the parties said in a joint statement.

“We want to urge and plead with political parties to refrain from drawing premature conclusions during this ongoing engagement between the City and AGSA [Auditor-General of South Africa].

“Patience is of utmost importance in ensuring a fair and accurate resolution to the dispute, and maintaining a calm demeanour is essential for upholding the integrity of the audit process.

“We firmly believe in the significance of due process, transparency, and accountability.

“Therefore, the Super Seven calls for unity in fostering an environment of patience and restraint, allowing the City and AGSA to work towards a resolution that accurately reflects the municipality’s financial position.

“In this regard, we urge the AGSA to expedite the process and ensure its timely finalisation, enabling the council to fulfil its oversight function.”

Political posturing

The EFF claims that the auditor-general was engaging in political posturing because, in accordance with the Municipal Finance Management Act, it was required to submit the city’s audited financial statements by December 2023, after having received them in August.

The relevant section of the act requires the auditor-general to deliver the audit report to the city manager within three months of receiving the council’s financial statements.

“The EFF believes that AGSA’s position on the city’s finances and failure to submit the report are politically motivated, something that AGSA is known for,” said the EFF in Gauteng.

“We call on AGSA to stop being used as a political weapon to undermine the democratically elected government of the City of Ekurhuleni.”

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