South Africa: Executive Council of the Free State Provincial Government (EXCO) led by Premier Sisi Ntombela today, 26 October 2022, met with the Office of the Auditor General (AG), Ms. Tsakani Maluleke, at Tuscany Rose in Mangaung, Bloemfontein.
The meeting with the AG took place a few hours before Finance Minister Mr Enoch Godongwana was scheduled to present the Mid-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS).
The Office of the AG is a chapter 9 institution discharged with the fundamental responsibility of strengthening democracy by enabling and promoting financial accountability and nurturing public institutions to financial health by guiding them through a stringent path of sound financial decisions.
It is through this path of prudent financial management practice that the public purse can stretch its already limited resources to address the competing needs of people.
The Auditor General came bearing gifts, fruits sprouting from accepting and implementing sound counsel, adopting a culture of ethical conduct, and instilling discipline and hard work.
This paradigm shift has led to the province receiving four clean audits in the Treasury Department, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Housing Fund within CoGTA, and the Fleet Management Trading Entity within Police Roads and Transport.
“You now need to deepen the work, bring municipalities on board to achieve the broader strategic goal, and the nature of your audit outcomes gives you authority to extend a helping hand, no longer as lip service but as a witness of good financial health. It is now time to work even harder and make sure you bank your gains by building systems you’ve already put in place. This means you must keep and strengthen established controls and bring improvements in areas lagging behind,” Auditor General Tsakane Maluleke said.
Premier Ntombela lauded departments who achieved to receive clean audits, adding that this feat required hard work.
“This was not an easy feat to achieve; it required a radical shift from the norm. We moved from a cancerous culture of people saying: ‘Our people do not eat clean audits’ to one of financial discipline and accountability.
This is but a step in the right direction. Our long-term objective is to restore the hope of our people in their government and deliver on our mandate. These encouraging outcomes will restore our people’s confidence in our institutions, and this entails an uncompromising implementation of consequence management to negate poor financial management and a culture of lawlessness. Unethical behaviour will not be tolerated. ” Premier Sisi Ntombela.