8 March 2021
Drakenstein Municipality is proud to announce that it has received a clean audit opinion from the Auditor-General for the 2019/2020 financial year, dubbed an extraordinary year for most organisations and their financial teams. Since 2011, Drakenstein Municipality has received 12 consecutive unqualified audit opinions, of which six were clean.
“For us this is a remarkable achievement, especially given the unusual demands of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown regulations,” says Alderman Conrad Poole, Executive Mayor of Drakenstein Municipality.
“We had to shift gears a couple of times and come up with creative solutions to unexpected challenges. On the one hand we were dealing with requirements for food security assistance, taking care of our homeless, and protective gear for frontline workers. On the other hand, the Municipality was faced with dwindling levels of municipal income, and growing numbers of vulnerable citizens. In spite of this pressure, a steadfast and focused approach was followed in the management of the Municipality’s finances.”
Drakenstein Municipality is the largest local municipality in the Western Cape. “We believe that ourselves, together with the Western Cape’s other two secondary cities (Stellenbosch and George) as well as the City of Cape Town (metro), should take the lead and set an example when it comes to financial management,” says Executive Mayor Poole.
The Auditor-General’s report states that Drakenstein Municipality’s financial performance for the year ended in accordance with the South African Standards of Generally Recognised Accounting Practice; and the requirements of the Municipal Financial Management Act of South Africa and the Division of Revenue Act of South Africa.
Executive Mayor Poole expressed his appreciation and thanks for the leadership and management of Dr Johan Leibbrandt, City Manager, and his top management team, and for the hard work and efforts of Bradley Brown, Chief Financial Officer, Cindy Lategan, former acting Chief Financial Officer, and the financial team, in attaining the clean audit opinion.
The Municipality’s approach to financial management complies with meticulous, responsible financial planning and budgeting; high levels of execution; performance reporting; adherence to legislation; and a zero-tolerance approach to corruption. The Municipality’s external Audit Committee plays an important “watchdog” role in this regard – asking the right questions and stringently performing their due diligence.
Dr Leibbrandt says: “Proper planning, fiscal discipline, as well as internal controls and monitoring are key elements in ensuring sound financial management. This approach works for us and we will continue to do so in the best interest of all our stakeholders. During lockdown it was important not to panic and to keep monitoring our finances closely, to apply cost containment, and to introduce innovative solutions.”
Executive Mayor Poole concludes: “I also would like to thank Alderman Gert Combrink, our Deputy Mayor, who is responsible for financial oversight, and last but not least, our residents for walking this road with us – you are reaping the fruits and sharing this proud achievement with us. Thank you for trusting us. With continued sound financial management and a commitment to clean governance, we believe we can continue to build a city of excellence for our community and be the kind of government every South African deserves.”
Voice clip: Riana Geldenhuys
Manager: Communication and Marketing
Issued by: Communication and Marketing, Drakenstein Municipality