District leaders trained on finance management and oversight

Municipal councillors and senior management have recently been equipped with accredited training to play a stronger oversight role in the iLembe family of municipalities.


Getting municipal finances right is at the heart of a functioning local economy and the quality of life of its residents.


A critical aspect of promoting inclusive local economic growth and an enabling business environment in the iLembe district is strengthening the financial position of the iLembe family of municipalities through better capacity to plan, finance and manage infrastructure investments and provide quality public services resulting in a conducive business climate.


The Vuthela iLembe LED Support Programme has recently provided both municipal councillors and senior management with an accredited training programme in Municipal Leadership, Finance and Oversight.


The training for municipal officials included councillors serving on oversight committees in the five municipalities of iLembe, KwaDukuza, Mandeni, Ndwedwe and Maphumulo.


Zama Soji, the key expert for the Vuthela Public Finance Management Component, said, “The training is intended to strengthen and improve councillors’ engagement with financial and non-financial information on which they must play an oversight role. 


“Of importance is the oversight role played by Finance Portfolio Committee (FPC) and Municipal Public Accounts Committee (MPAC) members and the successful implementation of a legal framework governing local government,” said Soji.


Broad leadership understanding


“For new councillors, the training is critical as they will have a better understanding of their responsibilities in these financial oversight committees they serve on, as well as a broader understanding of what is expected from them as leaders,” said Soji, adding the training also served as a refresher to the long-serving Councillors.


Councillor Thuli Mkhize of KwaDukuza Local Municipality said the training has proved useful to understand the importance of collaboration by leaders and gave her an understanding of the development of policies and by-laws.


“I have learnt the importance of accountability to all stakeholders of the municipality, including officials and the municipal manager,” he said.


Councillor Sihle Ntuli of Maphumulo Municipality said the focus of the training was municipal finance management which is very crucial and challenging in most municipalities.


“I have learnt a lot on how to properly manage municipal finances within the law. We are well-equipped now and will apply what we learnt,” he said.


Sandeep Oudhram of iLembe District Municipality said councillors must keep abreast of the latest legislation to be effective leaders and the training helped in this regard.


“I learnt the importance of oversight in governance and financial processes,” he said.