The Municipal Finance Management Internship Programme (MFMIP) was introduced to assist municipalities to increase their capacity to implement the municipal finance reforms embodied in the MFMA. The MFMIP seeks to assist municipalities to develop the knowledge and skills of the interns employed under this programme in areas such as strategic planning and management, municipal budgeting and finance management. It is an organised professional training and work experience programme with the goal of providing high quality training and practical exposure in all aspects of municipal finance management. The MFMIP is designed to provide interns (who are graduates in the fields of Accounting, Economics and Finance) with a logical training sequence founded on the knowledge competencies they acquired as graduates. It is envisaged that through workplace rotation, there will be interaction and mentoring by CFOs, MMs, international advisors and other experienced officials.
The goal of the programme is for each municipality to appoint a minimum of 2 interns (graduates from the above fields of study) over a period of no less than 24 months. Municipalities are encouraged to offer more graduates this opportunity and not be limited only to 2 interns if they have the resources and means to broaden the programme.
Once these interns have completed their workplace skills programme, the municipality should continue with the programme by offering others similar opportunities. Those interns that have completed the programme must be given an opportunity to gain full employment at the municipality or if no positions are available then approaches should be made to the neighbouring municipality to utilise such skills.
At the end of September 2007, 474 interns have been appointed in 222 municipalities and we would like to grow this to over three times the size of the current programme. All 283 municipalities must now move towards increasing these numbers to meet the goal of the programme.
Financial assistance has also been provided to municipalities in the form of the Finance Management Grant (FMG) to assist in the roll-out and management of the above programme. The primary objective of the grant is the building of capacity in finance management across all municipalities.