Western Cape CAs(SA) Assist Schools with Their Finances

According to findings by Corruption Watch, schools remain one of the country’s biggest corruption hotspots.

With its School Governing Body (SGB) capacitation programme successfully running in Gauteng, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) has begun actively working to capacitate SGBs with financial management and reporting skills in the Western Cape as well.

One of the main reasons why schools are a corruption hotspot is that the SGBs that run them lack the basic financial management skills needed to recognise the mismanagement of funds and properly oversee financial affairs. In order to rectify this, SGBs must be upskilled to ensure financial decisions are made in the best interests of a school’s learners.

This is precisely what SAICA’s pilot Western Cape SBG project has been tasked to do.

Working together with chartered accountants (CAs[SA]) from the Western Cape as well as the Western Cape Government’s Department of Education, this pilot project involves 20 schools in the province (10 from the Metro East Education District and 10 from the Metro South Education District). These schools were selected based on their lack of capacity to use available systems and procedures to manage their allocated resources effectively and efficiently.

For the duration of the programme, the main role of the CAs(SA) involved will be to provide on-site support to these pilot schools and upskill their SGBs with the requisite skills to strengthen their governance of schools, especially in the areas of financial management and internal controls.

Amongst other things, the programme will seek to empower the piloted school SGBs to operate within a financially sound, efficient and effective accounting framework, with specific emphasis on compliance with SASA and the norms and standards for school funding; ensure an improved and efficient system for financial management and governance; and assist in establishing a functioning SGB finance committee.

‘But the impact of this programme will go beyond ensuring that efficient and effective governance and management of schools take places,’ says Christiaan Vorster, SAICA’s Southern Region Regional Executive. ‘Ensuring financial resources are allocated correctly is critical to ensuring a school can produce good results. Our hope is, that by assisting the schools in the pilot project with their finances, we will also see them become the best performing schools in the Western Cape.’

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