The uMgungundlovu District Municipality implemented the Sage Evolution ERP system to improve its ability to manage finances efficiently and transparently; speed up delivery of municipal bills; and tighten control on expenditure. Since the system went live, the Municipality has received three consecutive unqualified clean audit opinions.

uMgungundlovu District Municipality is the biggest district in KwaZulu Natal and includes Pietermaritzburg, the province’s capital. Because it had no water billing system of its own, the district relied on the local municipalities to do the billing and as a result, was losing a substantial amount of money each year.

“We needed to incorporate water into our billing system and realised the value that a fully integrated business planning and management system could bring us,” says Busani Ndlovu, Chief Financial Officer for uMgungundlovu, who embarked on a comprehensive assessment of four ERP applications.

The successful bidder would be required to deliver a system that could seamlessly bill 33 000 water consumers, speed up delivery, minimise fruitless expenditure and improve procurement and human resource management systems. Of course, a clean audit was also essential.

The Sage Evolution solution could offer the municipality all of the modules it needed. The fixed assets register was already running through Sage Pastel Partner and the payroll module, which comes standard, offers a human resource management function. Because Sage Pastel is a South African company, its in-house development team was able to develop customer-specific enhancements quickly.

“The Sage Evolution team did a proof of concept for us which proved the system’s capacity and would also mean a faster implementation. But what really stood out is that Sage Evolution can be easily shared amongst local municipalities at very little cost,” says Ndlovu, “Because Sage Evolution’s municipal billing module is geared towards the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA) and GRAP and we have over 60 municipal clients, we were confident that our system was the best fit for uMgungundlovu municipality,” says Ashley Pillay, Divisional Director for Sage Evolution.

Adds Ndlovu: “Sage Pastel has delivered beyond our expectations and continues to do so. Sage Evolution has empowered the municipality to manage its finances in a straightforward and transparent manner and we are thrilled to be able to account for all public funds at the click of a button.”