Ramasele Ganda turned down a position at a Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed company, a big salary and share options to join the public service.
Ganda is the Group Chief Financial Officer (GCEO) of the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM) and it was only under her watch that the municipality received a clean audit from the Auditor General (AG) for the 2013/2014 financial year.
Introducing an automated system
Ganda said that in an effort to speed up the registration of service providers on the EMM’s database it is planning to introduce an automated system that will eliminate papers exchanging hands and shorten the time it takes for a service provider to be registered.
“One of the things that we are going to implement is a new automated system that will eliminate a lot of manual interference.
“We want people to register remotely so that no one can claim that their file has gone missing.”
She added that in future tenders and bids for jobs in the municipality will be adjudicated publicly.
“We are working on the modalities of opening up bids and adjudicating them in front of the public.
Ganda said one of the important tools that helped the municipality to achieve a clean audit was the training that the municipality provided to its employees.
It targeted employees in management, supply chain practitioners and project management. The training, said Ganda, focused on the workflow and how the municipality should run its affairs.
“We went into the basics of how we do things, for example, when someone gets appointed as head of water service, we teach them how to do supply chain in Ekurhuleni and we teach them how to move from point A to point B.”
She said the training also included the EMM’s policies.
“It helped us to eliminate mistakes because all of our managers were familiar with our policies.”
She added that the human resources department wrote a manual that helps new employees learn how things are done in the municipality.
Ganda’s advice to CFOs is that they should strive to share information with other CFOs, develop your team, respect the law and internal processes of the institution and have regular interactions with rate payers and citizens.
What is a CFO?
The CFO has the important function of helping the accounting officer of a municipality, provincial and national departments to carry out their financial management responsibilities, including budget preparation, financial reporting and the development and maintenance of internal control policies and procedures.
The CFO has to provide good governance, effective oversight and address operational matters that constitute sound financial management.
Build on your education and training
If you are school learner you must do Mathematics and Accounting. At tertiary you will need to do a degree in accounting (preferably public accounting), finance, economics, business or a related subject. Many CFOs start their careers as finance professionals, accountants or managers of small divisions, and work their way up to senior positions within a company.