Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Communication minister Faith Muthambi tells parliament the expectation is the SABC's next financial report will be unqualified ... although the SABC said it likely won't.

The minister of communications Faith Muthambi told parliament's portfolio committee on communications on Tuesday that the expectation is that the SABC's upcoming next annual financial report will be unqualified - meaning completely above board.

It's in stark contrast however to just two months ago when the SABC's chief financial officer James Aguma sat in the same chair and told parliament regarding the SABC's next financial report that it will likely again be qualified due to certain legacy governance issues that the SABC must still sort out.

"We expect the SABC board and the management to ensure that we move from qualified audits to unqualified audit with a matter of emphasis."

"Which is matter that we need to commend the SABC, to say they have been trying to move from disclaimer. Even the number of qualifications now, they are minimal. I think the last ones were three. So, hence we expect now the oncoming audit to come with unqualified audit with matter of emphasis," Faith Muthambi told parliament.

In September 2015 the SABC received its 5th consecutive qualified audit in 5 years.

A qualified audit from the Auditor-General (AG) means that it found types of situations which are completely out line with the generally accepted accounting principles - as opposed to an unqualified audit which the SABC is supposed to be getting.

The SABC even deteriorated so far with its annual financial report in 2012/2013 that the struggling public broadcaster got a disclaimer from the Auditor-General. 

A disclaimer of opinion is the worst audit opinion from the Auditor-General and the most disturbing rating, where the auditor says an entity, like the SABC, is unable to provide sufficient supporting documents for its financial statement.