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Call to probe use of consultants

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“Scopa has called for a forensic investigation into the consultants contracted by the municipality when compiling financial statements and on the work that has been done”

PARLIAMENT’S standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) is concerned with the lack of intervention at the Joe Morolong Local Municipality in the Northern Cape.

The chairperson of Scopa, Mkhuleko Hlengwa, said yesterday that there seemed to be a lack of political will to effect consequence management in this municipality, adding that it was moving towards total collapse.

“Scopa has called for a forensic investigation into the consultants contracted by the municipality when compiling financial statements and on the work that has been done,” said Hlengwa.

Hlengwa pointed out that the parliamentary committee had been informed by the auditor-general that the Joe Morolong Local Municipality had submitted poor financial statements for the 2018/19 financial year, despite the municipality using consultants that cost the municipality R6.2 million.

“Another challenge facing Joe Morolong Local Municipality is that despite hiring a qualified chief financial officer, they cannot produce financial statements without the use of consultants,” Hlengwa added.

“This has resulted in this municipality using consultants consistently over the past three years. As a result of this concerning information, Scopa has resolved to conduct an oversight visit to Joe Morolong Local Municipality.”

Amongst the issues for discussion during the oversight will be to request a forensic investigation into the use of consultants and for the provincial government to institute section 139 of the Constitution to place the municipality under administration.