On Wednesday, 22 October 2014, the eThekwini Municipality’s Internal Audit and Risk Assurance Services Unit and Municipal Institute of Learning (MILE) hosted the second Seminar in the Director Development Program. The theme for this seminar was ‘Cultivating Good Governance in the eThekwini Municipality’. One of the aims of the seminar is for the City’s leaders i.e. Councillors, Heads of Departments and Senior Management to clearly understand their roles and responsibilities and the consequences of inaction. Deputy Mayor Honourable Councillor Nomvuzo Shabalala, as Programme Director, set the tone for all leaders by highlighting that the seminar is in line with the Presidents campaign to get government “back to basics”. The Mayor, James Nxumalo, emphatically stated that Good Governance fosters accountability and responsibility. He emphasised that the seminar should be viewed as a meaningful platform for dialogue and as leaders in our communities and Municipality we need to take the lead and the responsibility for good governance.

The Mayor applauded the role played by Internal Audit and Risk Assurance Unit in terms of ensuring compliance and accountability of officials. According to the City Manager Mr. Sibusiso Sithole, Good Governance will not be achieved if Councillors are not involved hence their role in the seminar is integral. The City Manager highlighted the need to de-technicalize all issues related to clean auditing by putting on a human face to good governance. In conclusion, the City Manager highlighted that, good governance and service delivery are Siamese twins; we cannot talk about one without the other. “If we work together, we can see major improvement in our sphere of government”. The Seminar was also graced by Cllr Thabo Manyoni, Chairperson of SALGA NEC. Cllr Manyoni argued that behind all good leadership is good governance.

Councillors, Heads of Departments and Senior Management were left enthralled by the Key note address delivered by Dr Claudelle von Eck, CEO of the Institute of Internal Auditors. Her message and words of wisdom for the day will be reverberated for a lifetime. Dr von Eck emphasised that Internal Audit was the guardian of good governance that needed to be held accountable against the standards and code of ethics. One of Dr von Eck’s ideologies is that of Ubuntu and she suggested that our responsibilities go beyond ourselves and rather than using a tick box approach to governance we should infuse our roles with a spirit of caring and community.

The last keynote address was delivered by Mr Eugene Zungu, Executive Member of Auditor General South Africa (AGSA). Mr Zungu was just as captivating and his food for thought highlighted that accountability and transparency are important concepts when addressing Good Governance.

In a panel discussion, Councillors, Heads of Departments and Senior Managers were also graced with words of wisdom by Prof Pearl Sithole, Associate Professor of the Community Development Programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Prof Sithole challenged all on how we would respond to rigidity, compliance and enforcement. Mr Sabelo Gwacela, SALGA-KZN CEO, another panellist stressed an urgent need to reconfigure power relations so that those exercising power understand the sustainability of power. From this Seminar it was noted that, accountability, responsibility and transparency were the key concepts that emerged and are integral to promoting and adhering to Good Governance.

click here to access the presentations from the event