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23 August - 05 September 2013 Your FREE Newspaper

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Unqualified audit for City

ROMITA HANUMAN ETHEKWINI Municipality is a step closer to achieving a clean audit. With the recent release of the Auditor Generals report for 2011/12, the Municipality received an unqualified audit - with other matters. Two Municipal entities Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre (ICC) and Durban Marine Theme Park (Ushaka) received clean audit outcomes - another feather in the cap for the Municipality. Mayor James Nxumalo said that the outcomes for both the Municipality and its two entities were pleasing. ?We have strengthened our oversight controls and taken a zero tolerance approach to non-compliance. It has proven to be effective and we have substantially reduced irregular expenditure. We are confident that we will be able to achieve the national target of obtaining a clean audit by 2014.? The Municipality has received an unqualified audit outcome since inception. City Manager and Accounting Officer Sibusiso Sithole indicated that many austerity measures have been taken after the release of the previous financial years report. Sithole said, ?The Anti-Corruption Task Team was called in to do criminal investigations on all suspicious transactions and lifestyle audits of suspicious individuals. The immediate focus was to curtail the extraordinarily high number of Section 36 contracts and it is pleasing to report that the value of Section 36 contracts awarded has reduced substantially. Irregular expenditure was a focus area as well and controls have now been improved and carefully monitored.? The Municipality has recently appointed the Head of Internal Audit, ensuring that all transactions are above board and feasible. The Supply Chain Management (SCM) function was transferred to the Treasury Cluster. A Quote Management System (QMS) has been implemented for goods under R200 000. It is web enabled and all evaluations are done electronically. Despite the effects of the global recession on the economy, the Municipality has managed to achieve a collection rate of 97.5% for the 2011/12 financial year and 103.8% for 2012/13 financial year. . which is the best in the country. In the evaluation done by National Treasury the eThekwini Municipality was rated the best municipality in the country from a financial and service delivery perspective for the 2010/2011 financial year. With regards to the entities the ICC set a new revenue record of R237.0 million and achieved a positive net profit before taxation of R69.0-million. These results were achieved through the hosting of large, and high-profile events. The revenue generated for the 2012 financial year has been the highest since the establishment of the Durban ICC. Gross profit percentage was 65%, with an operating profit of R53.97-million being posted as at the end of the financial year. Durban Marine Theme Park saw a significant growth in footfall over the last few years due to new components, ongoing revitalisation of the park through new exhibits and events. These factors have contributed to the clean audit outcome. Matters of concern raised by Auditor General were property valuation objections, material losses and impairments, retirement benefit obligation, water and electricity loss, procurement and contract management as well as Information and Communication Technology. Deputy City Manager: Treasury Krish Kumar, said, ?Audit queries have been tracked, closely monitored and necessary controls implemented to avoid a recurrence. In addition the Auditor General has indicated that they are happy with progress made with regards to addressing issues raised in their report.? romita.hanuman@durban.gov.za HONOURING OUR QUEEN: King Goodwill Zwelithini and Mayor James Nxumalo pay their respects to Queen Thomozile at the Cato Manor memorial site. Picture: SIMPHIWE DLAMINI

Queen Thomozile memorial

SIMPHIWE DLAMINI THE King Goodwill Zwelithini Foundation and the eThekwini Municipality have announced that the annual Queen Thomozile memorial event will from next year be turned into a weeklong cultural activity to boost the local economy. This was revealed by King Goodwill Zwelithini during the wreath laying ceremony at the Queen Thomozile Memorial site in Cato Manor over the weekend. He said the Queen Thomozile Memorial Week Celebrations will be a week full of cultural activities that will include the wreath laying ceremony and a memorial lecture. Queen Thomozile Jezangani Ndwandwe is King Goodwill Zwelithini?s mother. The Queen mother died in 1959 after a short illness and it took the City seven years to locate her grave following a request by the king. His Majesty said the Queen Thomozile Memorial Week celebrations will ensure that the history and heritage of the Zulu nation does not disappear and thanked the Municipality for seeing this as of benefit to the people of Cato Manor and eThekwini. ?This good deed by the Municipality has inspired change in the Royal family and each and every member of the Royal family wants to play a role in improving the lives of our people. The celebrations will promote tourism and will boost the economy of Cato Manor and that of the City. The celebrations will be full of cultural activities and it will bring together people of different colour and background. The celebrations will take place in the month of August to highlight the role of the Queen Mother in the struggle for women emancipation,? said King Goodwill Zwelithini. EThekwini Mayor, James Nxumalo, said the construction of the Queen Thomozile Memorial Museum has already begun. He said the first phase, the building of the grave has been completed. ?We are honoured as the Municipality that the Royal Family has agreed that we keep the remains of the Queen Mother in Durban. It is of historical significance that the Queen Mother remains are kept here, two women who had a major role in the struggle of women emancipation stayed and lived here,? said Nxumalo. The day ended with the Queen Thomizile Annual Lecture at Suncoast Casino which was delivered by Associate Professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pearl Sithole. She delivered her lecture titled: ?We have liberation of Politics, now we need liberation of strategy: Women?s issues are Human Rights Issues.? The event also marks the beginning of Parks, Recreation and Culture Unit PRC Month. The PRC Month is aimed at celebrating the beautiful and unique cultures that exist within eThekwini. The launch of PRC Month will be held on the 31 August 2013 at Pufaro Park in Newlands East. ?We chose Pufaro Park because it is set in a previously socially excluded area and community, and it is dominated by the coloured community. With this in mind we aim to remove social and cultural barriers and reaffirm that this community is also an integral part of eThekwini?s vision,? said the Head of Parks, Culture and Recreation Unit, Thembinkosi Ngcobo.

Sustainable Living Exhibition

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Durban Exhibition Centre

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September 6 - 8

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ENTRANCE FREE

Water and energy saving devices, recycling, organic gardening and more.

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