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Transnet wants to reverse audit finding of R49bn irregular expenditure

The state-owned freight, rail and ports entity released its mixed-bag financial performance on Monday, which showed the company’s revenue had grown by 1.6%, while it received yet another qualified audit.

Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Transnet said it was in discussions with the National Treasury in its bid to reverse an adverse audit opinion after the company recorded a rise in irregular expenditure to R49 billion.

The state-owned freight, rail and ports entity released its mixed-bag financial performance on Monday, which showed the company’s revenue had grown by 1.6%, while it received yet another qualified audit.

Transnet executives appeared under pressure to reassure the country of the company's positive future prospects on Monday, saying they would fight the audit finding that flagged its significant rise in irregular expenditure.

The SOE said there was a difference in opinion between itself and its external auditors about Transnet’s tender pre-qualification criteria, which the auditors deemed irregular.

The auditors were of the view that Transnet’s application of the preferential procurement regulations relating to its pre-qualification criteria was inconsistent with legislation.

The company explained that the criteria that were scrapped in June last year were meant to assist the company to achieve competitive supplier development targets.

Transnet acting CEO Mahommed Mahomedy also stressed that the qualified audit opinion has no effect on its financial strength and business sustainability.