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By Editorial staff

Journalist


It’s time ANC owns up to its tragic failures

The lack of competence is costing billions and destroying towns around the country.


Who are we kidding when we think South Africa can compete with the best in the world? Do we really think Johannesburg is a “world-class African city”?

A new global rating shows that hundreds of cities globally are better than our best.

According to the Schroders Global Cities Index, Johannesburg is ranked a lowly 277th, while Cape Town fares even worse, coming in at 316th.

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And, even though many arrogant and xenophobic South Africans think we’re the best on this continent, the reality is that, according to Schroders, the Egyptian cities of Cairo and Alexandria rank higher than Joburg and Cape Town.

Schroders’ assessment is based on the fact that our cities have poor transport options, while our poor air quality also affects our ranking.

Fortunately, the international group doesn’t really go into the awful nitty-gritty of our cities and towns from a governance point of view.

Had they done that, they might had knocked us off the list completely.

This week, the auditor-general revealed that 84% of the country’s 257 municipalities failed to receive a clean audit for the 2020-21 financial year, while 25 – or about 10% – scored disclaimer audit opinions, which are most severe negative assessments of financial probity.

Not only that, the auditor-general exposed how consultants made R1.26 billion in 2020-21, doing basic financial accounting tasks for which municipal officials are already being paid over R10 billion in salaries.

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And even that didn’t help: the financial statements submitted by 59%, of the municipalities which used consultants had material errors.

The reason for this dreadful state of affairs is the ANC government’s system of cadre deployment, which rewards loyalty to the party with cushy jobs.

The lack of competence is costing billions and destroying towns around the country.

It’s time the ANC owned up to this tragic failure.