Today, civil rights organisation AfriForum hosted its annual conference about local government affairs. AfriForum announced at the conference that it would send pro-forma affidavits and guidelines to its nationwide network of branches. These documents can be used to lay criminal complaints against an accounting officer if he or she contravenes financial management legislation. (See documents attached)
According to Pieter Rautenbach, AfriForum’s spokesperson for local government affairs, about 100 delegates attended the conference which primarily focused on how communities can hold their municipal authorities accountable, specifically for financial mismanagement.
‘Speakers at the conference highlighted the necessity of taking part in local governmental processes and showed that communities can call officials to account,’ said Rautenbach.
Dayalan Pillay, the executive director of income management at the Tshwane Metro Council, addressed the conference about municipal accounts and misconceptions that can arise about them. He also discussed rates and credit control measures.
Werner Zybrands, an expert on local government legislation, addressed the conference about how the public can gain more say in how rates are applied.
Mare-Lise Fourie, a former city treasurer and lecturer at the University of Pretoria, presented clear guidelines and procedures that the public can use to give input on the drafting of a municipal budget. Fourie also noted steps that can be taken against municipal officials who waste public funds; this included criminal procedures.
According to Cornelius Jansen van Rensburg, AfriForum’s head of community affairs, AfriForum presented a strategy for civil participation at the organisation’s 2011 conference. This conference continues this turnaround strategy which helps to, among other things, improve community leaders’ knowledge of municipal affairs through training.