News Column

NW Municipalities Committed to Meeting AFS Deadline

August 22, 2014

The North West Provincial Coordinating Council (NWPCC) says it is pleased by the efforts made by municipalities in preparing their Annual Financial Statements (AFS) for submission by the 31 August deadline.

The NWPCC met with executive mayors and mayors, municipal managers, MECs, heads of department and the chief financial officers in Mahikeng on Thursday, to assess the local and district municipalities' readiness to submit their statements.

For two months the provincial Department of Finance, Economy and Enterprise Development's Municipal Finance unit has been evaluating, amongst other things, the municipalities' capacity to produce AFS internally, the existence and effectiveness of their audit committees as well as their ability to properly manage the record keeping systems.

The assessment gave a generally positive reflection on primarily municipalities' readiness to comply with the Auditor General's due date.

However, the Coordinating Council expressed concern regarding some municipalities' ongoing reliance on consultants to prepare their annual financial statements.

North West Premier Supra Mahumapelo, who is the Chairperson of the Provincial Coordinating Council, said: "There is a pressing need for the provincial government to walk the road with the municipalities with a particular focus on their capacity to handle financial matters, which includes producing Annual Financial Statements internally."

Premier Mahumapelo said it was important to audit municipalities' finance human capacity.

"We cannot forever rely on the consultants for preparation of our financial statements."

He said the province would ensure the centralisation of some of the critical functions such as finance, engineering and information and communications technology, with a view to build strong capacity at a district level

This approach will assist local municipalities to address system challenges as raised by the Auditor General in previous years.

Added to this, the provincial government will put in place extra measures to reinforce the work of the municipalities, in line with the strategic vision of rebranding, repositioning and renewal of the province.

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Source: AllAfrica

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