In what could signify the start of a new era for Makanas disastrous financial management, two of its three audit committee members have resigned, as director of local economic development Riana Meiring steps into the hot seat as acting municipal manager.
The municipality is still reeling from a poor audit report for the third year running. Last week the Auditor General released its final audit on Makana, which received its second successive disclaimer. A disclaimer is where a lack of the right sort of audit evidence makes it impossible for the auditor to form an opinion about the correctness of the financial statements.
It is the worst type of five possible audit outcomes. An item on the agenda of a special council meeting held yesterday indicates that Council is in a rush to appoint new audit committee members after two resigned, leaving only one.
Ms A Wagenaar is currently the only existing Audit Committee member, an item on the agenda for yesterdays meeting noted. Acting municipal manager Mandisi Planga had recommended that two candidates be appointed in the vacant positions.
Chairperson of the audit committee Mzukisi Madlavu resigned because of his recent appointed as the municipalitys director of corporate services. Belu Mdlalo also resigned because of work commitments, which she said made it impossible for her to fully commit as an audit committee member.
Four candidates were initially identified for the positions, but two declined. One cited dissatisfaction with the remuneration offered. The other had got a new job. This left only one candidate, Tembela Mnqeta, who accepted.
The municipality then had to look for another candidate. Internal auditors Kabuso recommended that Lunga Ntshinga be appointed as the second member.
Makana will offer these two candidates a fixed amount of R 1 947 per day as a meeting fee until 2015.
With the remaining member from the previous committee, the audit committee will now comprise three members. The acting municipal manager also recommended that the payment of audit committee members for 2012/2013 be revised as follows:
* That the meeting fee for the chairperson of the committee be a fixed amount of R 3 207 a day;
* That the meeting fee for ordinary members of the committee be a fixed amount of R 1 947 a day;
* That travelling claims payable to audit committee members be based on the rates determined by the Department of Transport. This rate is R 2.50 per kilometre.
According to Makanas recently released annual report, the audit committee meets as often as it deems necessary as per the approved terms of reference. From August 2010 to May 2011 it met seven times.
Another item on the agenda was the introduction of a municipal fuel card policy and it was proposed that a fuel card be issued for use by the mayoral vehicle. The mayors official vehicle, a BMW X5, according to the agenda, is not fuel-efficient, which meant that its driver had to be given cash advances in order to refuel.
The acting chief financial officer recommended a limit of R 5 000 a month for the vehicle, subject to fuel slips being supplied to the finance department. A decision on this item was deferred.
In yesterdays meeting, director of local economic development Riana Meiring was appointed acting municipal manager on a month to month basis, after Plangas term acting in that position expired yesterday.
Plangas term as director of social services also expired yesterday and parks and recreation manager Kevin Bates was recommended to take over this position in an acting capacity, also on a month to month basis.
Planga is reported to have reapplied for his position as social services director. Grocotts Mail broke the news about Makana Municipalitys second successive disclaimer in February, when the Council released its draft annual report.
This incorporated a report from the Auditor General identifying division in senior management and bosses bad attitudes towards internal controls as some of the problems behind the poor state of Makanas finances.
The Auditor Generals final report was released last week, confirming the concerns raised in the February version, and issuing the damning disclaimer.