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Scopa to grill struggling SOEs over 'grim' audit outcomes

Eskom, Transnet, the SABC all got qualified audit opinions. Even worse, disclaimers were issued for Denel and Prasa.

FILE: Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa. Picture: @MkhulekoHlengwa/Twitter

CAPE TOWN - Parliament’s finance watchdog said that it would be calling a number of state-owned entities to appear before it to explain their dismal audit outcomes.

They include Eskom, Transnet and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).

Also in the firing line are state arms-maker Denel and the SABC.

The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) was briefed on Wednesday by the Office of the Auditor-General on the SOE’s audit outcomes for the last financial year.

Auditors painted a bleak picture.

Eskom, Transnet, the SABC all got qualified audit opinions. Even worse, disclaimers were issued for Denel and Prasa.

Behind the auditor-speak were a familiar tale of a continuing failure to keep to the rules, to take prompt remedial action, and to bring to account those who had done wrong or been negligent.

“Well, we are in dire straits, quite clearly - if you look at the state of unhealthiness of the SOEs and just the myriad issues which confront them,” said Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa.

Hlengwa said Scopa had its work cut out for it.

“We’re going to have very serious discussions and interactions with DPE (the Department of Public Enterprises) and the other line function departments – Finance, Defence and Communications – about the state of unhealthiness of these SOEs.

“It can’t be business as usual. Something’s got to give… the picture is very grim.”

Scopa commended the Development Bank of southern Africa, which received a clean audit.

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