n African Renaissance - Exploring the key factors that can enhance municipal financial accountability in Africa : experience from South Africa

Volume 16 Number Special Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305


The annual financial reports of most local municipalities in South Africa continue to lack credibility due to lack of operational and managerial competence of municipal financial employees handling municipal finances. This is evidenced by reported instances of continued irresponsible expenditures and municipal financial malpractices that have limited achieving clean audit reports by so many municipalities in South Africa. This study aims to investigate measures that could be implemented in municipalities to amplify and encourage financial accountability. A qualitative study was adopted and data was collected using online interviews. Data was analysed using Atlas-ti software (Version 8.2). The study identified that the main causes of financial misappropriation and the inability to achieve clean audit reports by municipalities include the inability to effectively implement internal control measures, benchmarking, risk management, financial management, and the poor performance of the Municipal Public Accounts Committee. The primary recommendation is that training should be mandated and facilitated in the financial departments of all local municipalities in South Africa. The primary intervention being to educate municipal employees on how to appropriate municipal finance and facilitate sound consequent management. In addition to the primary recommendation, it is recommended that the human resource departments of municipalities exercise swift, fair, impartial, and severe intervention whenever misappropriation is proven. Through the combined effect of the suggested interventions, only erudite talents should be employed to handle municipal financial matters.

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