Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Auditor-General (AG) tells parliament the SABC's financial health is a concern; SABC wasted R413.7 million in irregular expenditure.

The AG has warned South Africa's parliament on Tuesday that the SABC is wasting a huge amount of money - the South African public broadcaster wasted a massive R413.7 million in irregular expenditure in the 2014/2015 financial period alone.

The SABC wasted another R18.8 million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure in 2014/2015 according to the AG who warned that the SABC's financial health is a concern.

The SABC also, again, got a qualified audit, with the AG calling the SABC's financials "concerning".

The Auditor-General told parliament that the SABC's financial report for 2014/2015 and financial statements contains a lot of mistakes.

The AG's stark warning over money waste and the SABC's financial health is in stark contrast to what the SABC's own executives said just last month.

The SABC CEO Frans Matlala in September said the SABC is "financially healthy and stable", and the chief financial officer James Aguma in September said the SABC "is financially stable".

The SABC's controversial and famously matricless chief operating officer (COO), Hlaudi Motsoeneng, now on "voluntary leave" pending a disciplinary hearing on 30 October, said several times earlier this year that the SABC is "healthy" and has a "healthy bank balance of R1 billion".

According to the Auditor-General, the SABC's financial health in concerning with the AG directly contradicting what the SABC executives, Frans Matlala, James Aguma and Hlaudi Motsoeneng said.

According to the Auditor-General, poor management and a lack of management accountability is the reason for the SABC's wasteful and irregular expenditure of millions of rand.

Besides the irregular expenditure and fruitless and wasteful expenditure, the SABC recorded a massive loss of over R401 million during the 2014/2015 financial year - something denied earlier this year by Hlaudi Motsoeneng after The Sunday Times said it would happen.

On Tuesday the AG has urged parliament to rein in the SABC over its money waste and poor financial management, telling members of parliament that the SABC's money waste is the biggest in the entire communications portfolio.

According to the Auditor-General there's a failure at the SABC to rein in executives in charge of and running the SABC.

The Auditor-General said the SABC's bad financial health is due in part to its unwillingness or inability to properly collect SABC TV licence fees.

"I have assessed the SABC as concerning primarily because of their license fees, which they don't recover," Alice Miller, an executive in the Auditor-General's office told parliament on Tuesday.

"The SABC would be in a much more healthy position if they recovered all the TV license fees that are due to them, as well as the losses that were made last year".

On Tuesday night on SABC television, SABC News gave a skewed report and reported how the SABC is "better" because the public broadcaster got less qualifications on its financials, and how the SABC is now wasting less millions of rand than before.