On the 3rd and 4th February 2016, Sedibeng District Municipality in partnership with SALGA hosted a SALGA Finance Week Summit for the Gauteng municipalities at City Hall, Vereeniging.
The purpose of the finance week was to have discussion on the recent promulgated financial misconduct regulation, to also strengthen the anti – corruption and fraud prevention measures in local government and to enhance the accountability and oversight in municipalities. Guest speakers were Cllr. Farouk Bhayat: Chairperson of Municipal Finance Working Group, SALGA Gauteng, and Mr. Kenneth Brown: Chief Procurement Officer, National Treasury and keynote speaker was Public Protector- Advocate Thuli Madonsela.
In her welcoming address, the Executive Mayor of Sedibeng District Municipality; Cllr. Busi Modisakeng, highlighted the critical mandate and constitutional responsibility of local government and she said the community must be provided with required services as envisaged in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, section 152 which clearly state the objects of local government, which are:
- To provide democratic and accountable government for local communities
- To ensure provision of service to communities in a sustainable manner
- To promote social and economic development
- To promote a safe and healthy environment and
- To encourage the involvement of communities and community organizations in the matters of local government.
The Executive Mayor went further to emphasize that municipalities will have to manage and control government finances according to what is required within the law and that no corruption should be tolerated or overlooked inside and outside of government.
Public Protector, advocate Thuli Madonsela in her keynote address to the delegates at the Finance Week, she said the residents' impatience was largely a result of unfulfilled promises and hence growing agitation and service delivery protest in communities, however she said that “…the municipal elections is an opportunity to start afresh; it is a new lease of life. The elections presents an opportunity to correct what was done wrong".
She further pointed out that if there was no corrupt public, there would be no corruption in government departments, and over the years, she has dealt with various cases of corruption and it takes a member of the public to interact with the state for corruption to take place.
The Public Protector went on to say that if we all say “no to corruption”, or say 'it stops with me', there would be no corruption. According to the Institute of Internal Auditors, South Africa has lost R700-billion to corruption in the past 21 years. She noted progress made in the fight against corruption and spirited efforts to stamp out corruption in public and private sector.
She said that the anti-corruption convention has been signed by over 140 countries throughout the world, adding that, the more blatant forms of corruption were no longer the norm in many countries, and slowly but surely, corruption is decreasing, which gives all of us hope that the scourge will be rooted out.