City dismisses DA mayoral candidate’s assertions

City of Joburg spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane.

This was in response to the allegations made by DA Johannesburg mayoral candidate Herman Mashaba that the City of Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau and Member of the Mayoral Committee (MMC) Geoffrey Makhubo have completely violated the tenets of good governance by making pronouncements on the City’s audit outcomes before receiving council approval.

Mashaba said that Makhubo briefed the press on the City’s 2014/15 Annual Report before it was tabled before council. Makhubo launched the presentation of the City of Joburg’s Integrated Annual Report (IAR) for 2014/2015 at Emoyeni Conference Centre in Parktown.

“Principles of good governance demand that financial statements must first be presented to the board and approved by the board before being made available to shareholders. Likewise, Auditor-General (AG) reports must be put to council before being made public. Tau blatantly sidestepped the council and went straight to our shareholders, the public, hoping to tell a good story before the real state of affairs comes to light,” he said.

However, the City of Joburg spokesperson Nthatisi Modingoane said, “The City held an embargoed media briefing to announce the tabling of the annual report to council on the same day. The embargo was emphasised to all members of the media present at the event.” Meanwhile, Mashaba said Tau blatantly sidestepped the council.

“He also claimed that Makhubo claimed that more municipal-owned entities had improved audit outcomes. The fact is that only six of the 15 managed to improve – less than half. Of further concern was that MMC Makhubo mentioned challenges identified by AG, but gave no specifics – a clear intention to gloss over the City’s underperformance.

“The fact is that Tau and the ANC stage-managed the release of the annual report to hide its own bad governance and to score political points to soften the blow. The DA will expose Tau’s hypocrisy as we complete our analysis of the City’s performance,” Mashaba said.

But Modingoane said the number of municipal entities (MEs) who achieved clean audits has increased to six. The MEs which achieved clean audits in 2014/15 comprise Johannesburg Social Housing Company, Joburg Theatres, Johannesburg Roads Agency, Pikitup, Johannesburg Property Company and Johannesburg Development Agency.

“This is a firm indication of the dedicated leadership which drives governance, compliance and strategic financial management. The City continues to strive towards clean administration and the highest standards of corporate governance. The City has maintained its respectable credit ratings with Fitch Ratings and Moody’s Investor Services during a difficult economic climate where the global trend has been that of institutions suffering downgrades in recent times. The City enjoys the highest national short-term ratings from both international ratings,” he said.

Aphiwe Boyce
Metro Reporter

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