SABC given worst possible audit opinion

AG Terence Nombembe found irregular spending of more than R100m.

The SABC offices in Auckland Park, Johannesburg. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) has been given the worst possible audit opinion, a disclaimer by Auditor-General Terence Nombembe.

The damning findings are contained in the SABC's annual report, which was tabled in Parliament on Monday.

Last year, the SABC received a qualified audit.

But this year, Nombembe found irregular spending of more than R100 million and no documents to back expenditure of more than R1.5 billion.

The Auditor-General found no evidence of the collection of over R900 million in TV licence fees and found the corporation also missed a number of its performance targets.

His report also revealed the SABC, which has experienced leadership turmoil, did not adhere to financial reporting standards and there wasn't enough oversight.

Meanwhile, the appointment of a new SABC board has been delayed.

A new board has to be in place by the time the term of the interim board expires at the end of September this year.

Members of Parliament (MPs) involved in selecting candidates for the new board were expected to meet on Tuesday to decide on 12 final names.

But the meeting was postponed because the qualifications of the candidates are still being vetted.

Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Communications Chairperson Sikhumbuzo Kholwane said the committee has asked Parliament to arrange a plenary for next week so the National Assembly can approve the names.

"If we don't meet next week we might have a situation where we don't have a legitimate board."

He said, "We are hopeful that with the wisdom of Parliament we'll be able to make a report by next week."