In response to the grim picture painted by the Auditor General’s (AG) report on local government released this week, Cosatu has called for a national debate on a turnaround strategy for municipalities across the country. They emphasise that only 13 clean audits were achieved in the country last year, i.e. fewer than 5% of municipalities achieved the required benchmark.
Cosatu demands a debate on how we are going to turn around this disaster. It is clear that a comprehensive, sustainable turnaround strategy and approach is needed. In this article such a strategy and approach is suggested. It is suggested that the design and establishment of a tailored Programme Management Office (“PMO”) is the most optimal vehicle to execute the turnaround. Also essential to the execution is the establishment of a Regional Support Centre. This Centre should comprise of a shared services centre (standardised systems and processes to execute shared, non-core functions), a centre of expertise (a vehicle to access professional services and scarce skills) and a municipal academy (to ensure skills development). The whole solution must be underpinned by an appropriate funding strategy to ensure affordability and sustainability.
A sustainable turnaround and clean audit can be achieved with the right leadership, plan, partners, buy-in and political will and perseverance.
Report by Corné Oberholzer, Director
Leader: Deloitte Local Government Unit