Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it aright will rather preserve its life than destroy it. -Henry David Thoreau, naturalist and author (12 Jul 1817-1862)
This article surely strikes close to home, in Musina
Fiduciary dereliction at municipal level laid bare
Not a single municipality in Mpumalanga, Limpopo, North West, the Northern Cape or Free State, all of them ANC-run provinces, received a clean audit following the latest cycle of official financial inspection.
This, after auditor-general (AG) Kimi Makwethu earlier this week released findings from the Consolidated General Report on Local Government Audit Outcomes for 2017/18.
Apart from measuring 21 “municipal entities”, or sub-municipal councils, the local government auditing cycle looked at the books of 257 municipalities and revealed that only 18 had received clean audits. Twelve of the municipalities are in the Western Cape whilst the remaining clean-audit councils are in Gauteng, Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Eastern Cape.
From a percentage point of view the auditing cycle found that only 8% of all the municipalities had received clean audits, “a decline from the previous year’s 14%”, a government news report said.
Makwethu emphasised that “since the current local government administration took office, the governance issues affecting municipalities have consistently been flagged with them in various formats, including individualised meetings with the leadership and through the AG’s 2016/17 general report, but the latest set of results indicates that this constant advice has largely been ignored”.
The auditor-general’s revelations came in the same week that leading poultry processor Astral forced Lekwa Local Municipality to abide by an earlier High Court finding that it must show how it intends to restore municipal infrastructure. The move by Standerton’s leading private sector entity against public sector dereliction came as Astral recorded an R85-million drop in revenue because of inconsistent water supply to its facilities.
I wonder how this will affect businesses in Musina?
Foreign markets are yet to react to the news that Zimbabwe has announced the re-introduction of the Zim dollar with immediate effect.
“The Zimbabwe dollar shall, with effect from 24 June 2019, be the sole legal tender in Zimbabwe in all transactions,” according to a statement.
With the country still staggering from crippling forex issues and resulting struggles to afford basic daily necessities like fuel, the move is widely seen as a desperate attempt to do away with bond notes and the real time gross settlement (RTGS) that have led to serious liquidity issues.
The SI directive said “each bond note unit and each RTGS$ is equivalent to a Zimbabwe dollar, and each hundredth part of a bond note unit and each hundredth part of RTGS$ is equivalent to a Zimbabwean cent”.
At the time of posting this article, news reports of angry resistance to the decision started filtering through, with word from the street being that it’s creating havoc among consumers.