Assessing records management in municipalities with adverse audit opinions in Limpopo Province, South Africa

Keywords: Records management, municipalities, local government, Limpopo Province


This article assesses records management in municipalities with adverse audit opinions in the Limpopo province, South Africa. Audit reports issued by the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) yearly indicate that poor recordkeeping is one of the factors contributing to adverse audit opinions in the public sector. The high level of corruption and maladministration, and lack of accountability and transparency in municipalities have become endemic and are a cause for concern in South Africa. Access to relevant and comprehensive information from records is essential for municipalities to perform their constitutional duties effectively. For this study, a quantitative research approach was employed using the survey design. Six municipalities in Limpopo that had adverse audit outcomes in the auditor-general’s report of 2015/2016 were targeted. A total of 92 questionnaires were distributed to registry staff employed in the municipalities and 86 of these were completed and returned. Findings revealed that the selected municipalities in the province face numerous challenges relating to records management practices, including staff shortages, lack of training and poor storage facilities. The study recommends that municipalities’ management and political office-bearers take all the necessary steps to prioritise records management by employing more people. The study further recommends that more universities in South Africa should provide formal qualifications in records management, and government officials should make funding available for records management practices.


Journal Identifiers

print ISSN: 1012-2796