Mayor John Mpe, once hailed for clean audits, faces scrutiny as Polokwane’s record falters.

Has “Mr Clean Audit” John Mpe, mayor of Limpopo’s biggest municipality, lost his mojo?

That is the question after Mpe’s Polokwane municipality failed to keep its record in last year’s audit outcome.

Mpe made history between 2017 and 2020

Between 2017 and 2020, Mpe made history when he clinched clean audits for three consecutive years for the Capricorn district municipality.

This earned him much-needed popularity, which ultimately boosted his election as Polokwane mayor. Mpe was expected to improve the dismal audit performance of the council – but he did not.

The council received five qualified audits since 2020, which did not impress the opposition Democratic Alliance (DA).

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Bad audit findings

Caucus leader Jacques Joubert said yesterday some of the bad audit findings include:

  • Excessive water losses of over R87 million;
  • Misstatements in the annual performance report;
  • Persons employed by the municipality whose close family members did not disclose business contracts with the council; and
  • Irregular and wasteful expenditure not investigated.

“The debt book of the council in December last year breached the R2 billion mark,” he said.

But council spokesperson Tshidiso Mothapo said: “In 2023, council implemented the recommendations of forensic investigations to address irregular expenditure.

“We have already started to investigate about R500 million of the cumulative amount classified as unwanted expenditure.”


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