5% of all municipalities across South Africa received clean audits. (Source:
Auditor-General Terence Nombembe) In assessing the financial management of the
country’s municipalities, Nombembe’s report addresses two crucial failures: a
debilitating lack of leadership, and a lack of accountability. This is
evident, for example, in the number of municipalities that could not even
manage to get their financial records completed on time for auditing. But
this sorry state of affairs is unfortunately not a recent phenomenon and raises
the deeply troublesome question of why it has been allowed to continue for so
long. Neither is it a surprise revelation that local government has
persistently been vulnerable to exploitation and corruption. But how does one
It is easy to talk about these
things, but do we have the muscle for it and where does one start? Will it help
when all divisions work seamlessly with HRD? Will it work when we broaden the
scope of skills development or address staffing norms and standards for
capacity building and competence profiles? What if you have more efficient
systems of complaints management?
suggestion would be to start with the following:
Will spelling out key performance
indicators and performance agreements and skills development plans achieve the
desired results? What if you do have poorly defined development objectives and
How do you get a skilled and capable workforce to support
a responsive, accountable, effective and efficient local government system?
Where do you start?
Good question. It is easy to say you
need to focus and do some capacity building and aligned training, but where do
you start? Also, if you do these things, will the impact address the strategic
needs and challenges?