FINANCE Minister Pravin Gordhan has criticised municipal finance officers for mismanagement‚saying it was unacceptable that there was R15.5-billion in irregular spending last year.
Municipal officials had to take the blame for fraud‚ corruption and interference with tender processes‚ he told a conference organised by the Institute of Municipal Finance Officers.
"It is disconcerting that government is consistently underperforming in this regard... it is unacceptable when officials take this responsibility lightly‚" he said.
It was vital to get rid of this "cancer of corruption‚ this cancer of greed" – whether it was among officials or business people.
"If you can't demonstrate creating a system of financial management that has integrity and honesty, then you are failing in your core responsibilities‚" he said.
Gordhan also said municipalities should bear some of the responsibility for some of the strikes and service delivery protests which had taken place in mining areas, as they were "falling short" in ensuring that workers on the mines lived in decent conditions.
The number of service delivery protests in South Africa had climbed to 113 in the year to July, compared to 81 in the same period last year, Gordhan said.
"The increase in service delivery protests is indicating that communities are dissatisfied‚" he said. – I-Net Bridge