The political leadership under the Executive Mayor, Mr Conrad Sidego and Finance Portfolio Chair, Deputy Mayor, Mr Martin Smuts and the administrative leadership under the Municipal Manager, Ms Christa Liebenberg of Stellenbosch Municipality achieved top class service delivery during the 2013/14 financial year ending June 2014 through the capital expenditure of R171 million.
This capital expenditure represents 91% of the capital budget which will benefit service delivery in Stellenbosch Municipality. The capital expenditure percentage exceeded 90% for the first time in at least 8 years under the current leadership. When the current political leadership took control during 2011 the capital expenditure for the financial year ending June 2011 was a mere R113 million and only 78% of the capital budget was spent. Achieving capital expenditure of R171 million at 91% of the capital budget 3 years later represents a substantial improvement in service delivery by the current municipal leadership.
Between the 8 municipalities in the Western Cape with annual revenue budgets in access of R600 million, only 2 municipalities achieved a capital expenditure of 90% or more during 2012/13. The 91% capital expenditure achieved during 2013/14 by Stellenbosch Municipality therefore represents best practice in terms of service delivery.
The Engineering Directorate which is responsible for most of the basic service delivery achieved a capital expenditure of R136 million at 97,5% of its capital budget during 2013/14. This achievement will be best practice within the province and it was achieved under the leadership of Mr Van Niekerk who is a Professional Engineer with 30 years’ municipal experience.
The capital expenditure percentage of Planning and Development was 93%; Community and Protection Services was 91%; Strategic and Corporate was 84%, Financial Services was 94% and the office of the Municipal Manager was 100%. The capital expenditure of the Human Settlements directorate was 61%. The capital under-expenditure of this directorate relates to non-performance of a contractor that was replaced. No funding is lost to the Municipality and housing service delivery will be implemented.
Stellenbosch Municipality experiences infrastructure backlogs, but the current Council approved a budget that will accelerate capital expenditure to address the backlogs and promote service delivery, economic growth and job opportunities. This budget was approved based on a long term financial plan funded by Provincial Treasury and compiled by a service provider with extensive experience in municipal finances. Such a long tern financial plan is also a first for Stellenbosch Municipality in recent years which speaks to the responsible management of taxpayers’ money.
Stellenbosch Municipality achieved an Unqualified Audit opinion over the recent six years which bares testimony to good financial management. Hereby the Auditor-General expresses the opinion that the financial position and performance of the Municipality is fairly represented in the financial statements.
11 Municipalities in the Western Cape including the City of Cape Town achieved “Clean Audits” for the 2012/13 financial year. The “Clean Audit” concept relates to obtaining an Unqualified Audit opinion plus compliance and correct reporting on predetermined objectives. Stellenbosch Municipality is working towards obtaining a Clean Audit for the 2014/15 financial year by implementing an Audit Action Plan. To obtain a Clean Audit leadership stability is also a prerequisite. The appointments of Stellenbosch Municipality’s Municipal Manager, Ms Liebenberg (B.Sc. (Hons) and Masters in Business and Business Administration (MBA) with 20 years’ municipal experience during 2012/13); the Chief Financial Officer, Mr Wüst (civil engineering graduate and Chartered Accountant, CA(SA) with 17 years’ experience) and filling the positions of Manager: Treasury and Head: Supply Chain Management (both individuals brings extensive municipal experience to the Municipality) during the 2013/14 financial year will assist the Municipality in achieving a “Clean Audit” in the future.