The Association’s Oversight Report for the Draft Annual Report has been submitted to the Bitou Municipal Manager, Western Cape Minister of Finance, and Auditor-General.
Date: 23 February 2020
It is our understanding that the purpose of the annual report process is to report on the executive management of the municipality by producing an honest and intelligible report so that residents can evaluate their performance, obtain the necessary responses, and ultimately to hold them to account. This is pursuant to the Constitution’s founding principles which demand a government based on openness, responsiveness and accountability.
Despite the municipality’s dismissive and often rude treatment of the input we have attempted to provide, we persist with our attempts to enforce compliance with the Constitutional prerogatives and our duty and right as citizens to participate in a meaningful way in the affairs of our government. As you are aware, due to the decline in the performance of the municipality over a number of years, and the obvious absence of managerial intervention, the Ratepayers’ Association has been forced to take a closer interest in ensuring good governance and accountability.
The standard of reporting in the annual report has sharply deteriorated over the years, a trend which accelerated over the past three years. The report does not comply in many respects with the minimum requirements and is of virtually no value. or example, in the Financial Statements, it is reported that “Contracted Services” are at 14%, whereas Treasury says the maximum should be 6%. Apart from raising a large red flag, it is meaningless.
To be of any value the report itself must explain why the municipality has missed the accepted standard by more than 130% and should include the following:
Once that is achieved will the report be meaningful and achieve its purpose.
We therefore request that you take all steps within your powers to ensure that the necessary improvements are made so that future annual reportsare intelligible and fit for the purpose intended.
That said, we return to the current report.
In order to understand and participate meaningfully, the Annual Report needs to address as a minimum the issues below found on pages 67-69 of the Financial Statements in the 2018/2019 Draft Annual Report.
Business and Advisory 2019 – R2,847,566 2018 – 0
Burial Services 2019 – R123,581 2018 – R71,000
Researcher 2019 – R677,096 2018 – 0
Town planner 2019 – R1,6 million 2018 – R174,027
Event promoters 2019 – R1 million 2018 – 0
License fees 2019 – R10.2 million 2018 – R3.3 million
Skills Development Levy 2019 – R1.8 million 2018 – R57,183
Membership fees and subscriptions 2019 – R4.7 million 2018 – R2.1 million
Building contractors 2019 – R5 million 2018 – 0
Cleaning services 2019 – R1.16 million 2018 – R20,340
Illegal dumping 2019 – R1.74 million 2018 – 0
Could indicate non- or poor performance of enforcement. If so what corrective and accountability measures have been taken or planned?
Litter picking 2019 – R448,505 2018 – R196,347
Bldg refuse removal 2019 – R716,657 2018 – 0
Learnerships/Internships 2019 – R9.1 million 2018 – R8.8 million
Maintenance of buildings and facilities 2019 – R5.9 million 2018 – R2.4 million
Maintenance of Unspecified Assets 2019 – R11.7 million 2018 – R3.6 million
Travel – local 2019 – R1.8 million 2018 – R1.2 million
Treasury Cost Containment Guidelines say to limit travel.
Fuel & Oil 2019 – R8.3 million 2018 – R7.3 million 2016 – R1.2 million
Fire services 2019 – R604,395 2018 – 0
Civil Engineering Services 2019 – R33.3 million 2018 – R21.7 million
Electrical Engineering Services 2019 – R2.7 million 2018 – R332,451
Legal advice and litigation 2019 – R7.5 million 2018 – R6.3 million
Provide a list of the matters.
We look forward to your reply.