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Durban Metro Chief Financial Officer Graduates with a PhD Degree

April 18, 2017

Doctor of Administration graduate Dr Krish Kumar.

Ethekwini Municipality’s Chief Financial Officer, Dr Krishnaperdash Aswanth-Kumar, received his Doctor of Administration degree during the Law and Management Studies Graduation ceremonies.

Kumar said among the challenges was juggling work and studies while heading the finances of one of the biggest cities in South Africa. 

‘I was under extreme pressure and had to manage my time effectively.

‘On several occasions, the entire weekend had to be sacrificed. My wife and I managed to strike the right balance although we did have a few clashes,’ said Kumar.

Kumar is the Commissioner of the Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC), President of the Chartered Institute of Government Finance, Audit and Risk Officers, and a member of the Finance Working Group of the South African Local Government Association (SALGA).

The focal point of his study was to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of revenue management in metropolitan municipalities in South Africa.

He said the study found that: ‘The effectiveness and efficiency of the revenue management systems are not being optimised. More specifically, the municipal debt has grown, the cost of free basic services has increased, distribution losses for water and electricity have been steadily increasing, and there is an average surplus of 9% on net operating margins.

‘Emanating from these findings, a model for revenue enhancement was developed,’ said Kumar.

‘The key recommendations included a strategy to address water and electricity losses in distribution; reviewing the affordability of the free basic services package and improving the net operating margins. There were also suggestions about interventions to improve the effectiveness of revenue collections, such as installation of pre-paid and smart meters, and the enhancement of credit control bylaws and revenue management systems.

‘This study will assist municipalities to develop a strategy to improve their cash collection rates. This will have a huge impact on accelerating the delivery of services to eradicate inherited service delivery backlogs. The study will also be useful for university students, academics, researchers, National Treasury, COGTA, SALGA and the FFC,’ he added. 

Kumar said conforming to an academic style of writing and editing had been a humbling experience. 'It was very enriching in terms of appreciating the academic world and what is required in terms of fulfilling the requirements of the dissertation and the articles that need to be published.’

Kumar thanked his supervisor, Professor PS Reddy for the role he played, inspiring him to do well in his studies. ‘The support from my family and work colleagues also contributed significantly.’

Sithembile Shabangu

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