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Financial Overview

Finance department consist of the below listed Divisions/Units which are under the control of the Chief Financial Officer

- Mr. JH Mhlongo

Administration and Strategic Planning

- Ensure a maximum support to all divisions so that they can function optimally which will eventually benefit the community.
- Ensure that all Municipal finances are handled in accordance with the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act No.56 of 2003 and the funds are used for the intended programmes which benefit the community.
- Ensure that the work environment becomes educational as well to employees through continuous communication (Internal workshops, meetings, etc.).
- Strive to achieve the unqualified audit report with no matters and to maintain it.
- Ensure that the Batho Pele principles are brought into action daily.
- Municipal Standard Chart of account Regulations have been implemented successfully, challenges that arise are attended with the assistance of main financial system and sub-systems vendors.

Expenditure Management Unit

- We strive to pay creditors within 30 days upon receipt of invoices (Invoice that is compliant to Section 20 of the VAT Act no 89 of 1999) provided that all Supply Chain Management Regulations are complied with.
- We strive to pay employee related costs and Councillors remuneration on time. Both costs respectively are within Treasury Norms when considered to total operating expenses.
- Payments are made in compliance with Municipal Finance Management Act Circular No.82 of 2016 – Cost Containment Measures.

Revenue Management Unit

- Municipality has the following streams of revenue: Service charges (Electricity Sales and Refuse collection), Rates, Government Operating Grants (Equitable share, financial management Grant, Extended Public Works Programme, Provincialization of Libraries) and other revenue (Rates clearance certificates, Traffic fines and Licenses Valuation Certificates, Reconnection fees, Facilities hire, Business licenses).
- Revenue management is driven by Council Policies and by-laws. One of our Policies which is Indigent Policy which emphasizes on the well-being of our community and surrounding areas of Ulundi. Consumers who qualify as indigents are given 50khw pm of electricity and 100% rebates on refuse and Property Rates. Council is also providing R45 000 as additional rebates to Rates for all our residence. Based on the Revenue Enhancement Strategy, community is encouraged to pay for services so that Ulundi Municipality can deliver the services to the community. All our commercial customers including Government are encouraged to make a once off payment for annual property rates. This will enhance revenue, as a result the debtors’ book will decrease. This drive is supported by Senior Management and the municipal staff members.
- Main purpose of the unit is to protect and enhance revenue position to enable the objectives of the municipality by implementing Council’s Policies, By-Laws, and Strategies.
- Effective revenue management means that all consumers are billed correctly for all services received and all property owners are billed correct property rates in accordance with the Local Government Property Rates Act, 2004 as amended in 2014. Revenue, as a product of service delivery and the municipal valuation roll, is dependent on the extent and use of land and services provided, as well as on the municipality’s ability to identify, record and manage all its revenue sources accurately and comprehensively. Monthly reconciliations are performed between the valuation roll and the billing system, as well as regular data verification tests done to ensure that consumption charges are within acceptable norms.

The following areas were prioritized during the financial year to achieve Improved Revenue Management:

- Collection rate of 90% targeted.
- Ongoing completeness of revenue reconciliations.
- Reduction of outstanding government debt – various initiatives are underway to reduce government debt and ensure ongoing payment for services.
- Improved indigent management.
- Council’s revenue enhancement strategy.
- Ulundi Financial Recovery Plan.

Supply Chain Management Unit

- This unit ensures that there is maximum compliance with Supply Chain Management Regulations and Municipal Policy in sourcing of goods and services.
- Ensure a transparent, fair, and economic manner of sourcing of good and services.
- Monthly and Quarterly Reports have been submitted in respect with the procurement of goods and services in terms of Municipal Approved Supply Chain Management Policy and Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Regulations (Published in terms of Act No.56 of 2003).The situation was also strengthened by the introduction of a Contract Management system as well as Central Suppliers database the training of which was facilitated by the dedicated delegates from the Provincial Treasury.
- All officials within this section have met minimum competencies.

Assets Management Unit

- This unit is responsible for the maintenance of the Municipal Asset Register with a value of over R 500 million and Investment property to the value of about R 16.2 million and there have been no non-compliance findings reported by Auditor General’s office in the Audit report for the past three financial years.
- In terms of Section 96 of the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act No.56 of 2003 by means of unique identification of new assets, verification and monitoring the movement of assets which determines the existence and condition of the asset there after calculating depreciation of the asset as opposed to its useful life to determine future economic benefit and to be able to make provisions for replacement timeously (Budget).
- It is worth nothing that this function is done by the municipal officials.

Information Technology Unit

- The major role of Information Technology (IT) division is to support business processes of the Municipality. This is achieved by providing a stable, secure, and efficient network environment to allow efficient operation of all computer systems in the Municipality. Due to the recent upgrade of the whole network infrastructure, the network environment is now built with more durable hardware devices that run latest technologies which enable effective monitoring of user activities on the network.
- Furthermore, the network infrastructure will allow the municipality to offer free Wi-Fi to the community at the municipal library once further configurations on the network are completed. The free Wi-Fi access will be an added value and a contribution to advancement of education, especially to learners utilising the library and in addition to that, IT division will also design a website specifically for the library. The website will provide more information about the services offered in the library and possibly allow community to interact with the website.
- The website design, development and maintenance has been done in-house. The insourcing comes with several benefits – efficient updating of the website is one of the benefits. Part of our plans is improving the municipal website by developing in functions that allow community to interact with the municipality for queries and complements. This will improve the communication between municipality and the community.

Financial Support, Budget Process Managment & Budget Reporting Section

- The process which is led by Schedule of key budget deadlines to the approval of each MTREF (Medium Term Revenue and Expenditure Framework) is a cycle (Draft Budget, Adjustment Budget, Final Budget and in year monitoring reports), commencing immediately after the ensuing years MTREF is approved by Council.
- In the 2020/21 financial year municipality complied with MFMA in tabling and approval of budgets within legislated timeframes.
- A budget consultation process which was undertaken with different municipal stakeholders through meetings. Attendance by the Community attendance in these consultation meetings are always improving and the understanding of the municipal process by the community is also encouraging to note.
- National Treasury endeavours through support to ensure that municipalities prepare a budget document that provides concise and understandable financial and non-financial information, which will ensure that informed decisions are made to promote effective financial management and service delivery. By ensuring that the allocation of financial resources is aligned to service delivery targets it will be clear what services are being promised when budgets are approved.
- The municipality’s activities are as per MFMA Section 21 (1)(b)(i), which states that the mayor of a municipality must approve the Budget Process Plan at least 10 months prior the start of the budget year and table in the municipal council a time schedule outlining key deadlines for the preparation, tabling, and approval of the annual budget.
- The MFMA Act no.56 of 2003 section 71 requires the Municipality to submit a Financial Report within 10 working days of each month, the Municipality must submit monthly report (s71) in the form of Data Strings which has been successfully uploaded for all the months. On a monthly basis these Financial Reports are submitted to the Executive Committee for Reporting purposes.
- The Municipality continues to engage with both National and Provincial Treasuries where there are still challenges and errors in the reports submitted.
- Municipality is transacting on version 6.4 and all segments have been fully implemented except for costing segment.
- The Municipality participates in the Internship Programme which allows graduates in the financial field to be exposed to Financial Management for a maximum of two years and in this program a maximum of five interns are subjected to a three-month rotational plan where they are deployed to different divisions / sections of the department for relevant training purposes, and this is in line with the conditions of the Financial Management Grant (FMG). In the past decade, this program has been a success since all the interns has been absorbed by the municipality. This is monitored through the personal development plans signed off before rotation.
- It is worth mentioning that Annual and Interim Financial Statements are internally prepare by the municipality’s officials and the unqualified audit reports have been received by the municipality for over past five years.