The Western Cape Provincial Treasury in partnership with the National Treasury, hosted a Municipal Financial Misconduct Workshop in Cape Town on 27 and 28 July.
In terms of section 34 of the Municipal Finance Management Act No. 56 of 2003 (MFMA), National and Provincial government must, by agreement, assist municipalities in building the capacity of municipalities for efficient, effective and transparent financial management while section 175 of the MFMA provides for matters to address financial misconduct. The Municipal Regulations on Financial Misconduct and Criminal Proceedings came into effect on 1 July 2014. Subsequently, National Treasury issued MFMA Circular 76 in October 2015 in support of the Regulations. The objective of the Regulations is to set out processes and procedures to be followed when dealing with incidences of financial misconduct.
“This workshop is an important contribution towards building foundation and institutions, taking the objectives of the MFMA forward, enabling implementation of principles of accountability, transparency, effective and efficient use of public funds in municipalities. It also allows a platform for practitioners to share ideas and clarify processes to close the cycle in dealing with matters of unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure” said Mr TW Pillay, Chief Director: MFMA Implementation at National Treasury.
“Nationally and provincially, the MFMA has ensured direct accountability at Municipal Manager’s level for financial management of municipalities. It means a greater responsibility for each manager resulting in stricter measures and improved control systems” said Mr Zakariya Hoosain, Head Official of Western Cape Treasury.
Under the theme of “Building Integrity Together”, the focus of the workshop was to engage on the regulations dealing with financial misconduct and criminal procedures.
“The purpose of this workshop is to reinforce Treasury’s anti-corruption stance, and recommit officials in creating an ethical and cost effective organisation. We must have an organisation that is characterised by zero tolerance for corruption, fraud and financial misconduct” said Hoosain.
The objectives of the workshop were:
- Clarify and practically demonstrate processes and procedures that municipalities must follow when dealing with allegations of financial misconduct;
- Promote sound financial governance and accountability; and
- Facilitate and encourage knowledge sharing.
In setting the scene and tone, the following quote was relayed:
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear but triumph over it. The brave is not he who does not feel afraid but he who conquers that fear” – Nelson Mandela.
The workshop was attended by representatives of 42 organisations, including various provincial treasury departments. Other delegates and/or speakers included officials from
- Western Cape Auditor General of SA
- Western Cape Government
- Western Cape Municipalities
- Western Cape National Prosecuting Authority
- Western Cape Police Ombudsman
- Western Cape Public Service Commission