The Local Government Sector Education and Training Authority has committed R3,9m to help fund auditing training for municipalities, to be provided by the Institute of Internal Auditors SA (IIA SA).
The two-year, entry-level programme is expected to train 200 municipal staff as internal audit technicians. Many municipal and provincial authorities have suffered from poor financial management skills, blamed for qualified audit outcomes many local authorities received annually.
The IIA SA training support comes as the sector education and training authorities (Setas) have been criticised for concentrating on short courses that could barely contribute to life-long education.
Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande: Critical of Setas… Little to show for billions given to them. (Image: GCIS)
Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande criticised Setas in Parliament in March, saying there was "little" to show for the R37,5bn given to them since 2000. He also said the Setas themselves lacked sound accounting practices.
However, the IIA SA said it had a role to play in making SA's municipalities function better. Bill Shellard, education and training manager at the IIA SA, said: "While the project will provide structured training for internal auditors and therefore be highly beneficial for all municipalities, it is small municipalities in non-urban areas in particular that will derive the most benefit."
Small, rural and outlying municipalities are the worst affected by a lack of capacity.
Claudelle von Eck, CEO of the IIA SA, said internal auditors were "uniquely placed to make significant contributions to the effectiveness of municipalities" and were "vitally important to the economic health of the country".
In January, a ministerial team took over control of various functions of Limpopo province, which had a cash shortfall of more than R2bn. The team found financial irregularities in the administration of the province, such as illegal payments to service providers and money that had gone missing.
Early last month, Kenneth Brown, deputy director-general in the Treasury, told MPs that Limpopo's financial performance had improved.
Source: Business Day
via I-Net Bridge