Speech by the Acting Premier on the occassion of the Auditor General

REMARKS BY THE ACTING PREMIER OF THE NORTHERN CAPE PROVINCE, MS GRIZELDA CJIEKELLA, ON THE OCCASION OF THE MEETING WITH THE AUDITOR GENERAL ON 05 APRIL 2013 IN KIMBERLEY

Programme Director

The Auditor General, Mr Terence Nombembe

The Speaker of the Northern Cape Legislature, Mr Boeboe van Wyk

Members of the Executive Council

The Director-General, Advocate Justice Bekebeke and

Senior government officials

Ladies and Gentlemen

It gives us great pleasure as the provincial government to welcome Mr Nombembe and his team to our province to interact and share with us the important audit findings of Northern Cape municipalities. We also commend the efforts that the institution of the Auditor General takes to interact with all government spheres to share knowledge, establish common understanding and raise public concerns.

This institution plays a very important monitoring role which assists government in its work. It complements the work that government is doing in monitoring itself, as we are doing lately with the new functions of performance monitoring and evaluation.

The Constitution calls for the Auditor-General to audit and report on the accounts, financial statements and financial management of all national and provincial state departments and administrations, municipalities and other institutions. It is indeed the only institution that, by law, has to audit and report on how government is spending taxpayers’ money.

We further take cognizance that our people’s quality of life can only improve through diligence and hard work; through co-operation with institutions such as yours and through honest and sincere reflections on the work that we do.

Together with my Colleagues and those we lead, we remain ever steadfast in our commitment as we work together in pursuit of the objective of attaining 100% clean audits. We will from time to time encounter difficulties along the way, as we confront challenges that our journey is riddled with.

As we have done on numerous occasions, let us therefore always come together and to frankly discuss - and together take forward the fight against poverty, joblessness and inequality as experienced by many of our compatriots. We must respond in a positive manner to the socio-economic challenges that confront our people. We must ensure that we improve the quality of life of all our people, especially the elderly, women, youth and people with disabilities.

Programme Director, it is our firm belief that the Office of the Auditor-General exist to encourage excellence, the best possible service, and the best possible use of the fairly limited resources we have at our disposal to address a complex set of challenges.

Ladies and Gentlemen, local government is at the coalface of service delivery. It is the most important level of government which interacts with our people on a daily basis on services such as water, sanitation, roads, etc. It is at this level that we need to strengthen our capacity to deliver to ensure efficient and effective services to our people.

Therefore, it is important for us to focus on forward planning, strengthening leadership, and tightening administrative systems and processes, particularly with regard to supply chain management. The provincial administration has also firmly focused on recruiting appropriately qualified and suitably skilled people in key and critical positions in order to improve the provincial audit outcomes.

Let us debate the issues constructively and with an open mind, giving due respect to opposing views and taking responsibility for all our actions – successes as well as failures!

We must together with, and guided by the office of the Auditor General, continue to explore ways and means that can best enable us as government, to meet the expectations of our people.

I wish to assure Auditor General Nombembe and his entire team of our fullest commitment to the continued improvement of our finances.

We have and will continue to use all relevant platforms, forums and opportunities to constantly educate and update ourselves of our obligations in order to attain desired audit outcomes.

As elected public representatives, and Managers in government, we have to shoulder the responsibility of ensuring that all our efforts to free our people from poverty, unemployment and inequality, continue unabated.

We will do this in the earnest and honest pursuit of meeting the target of achieving the all important Operation Clean Audit!

I thank you

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