SABC mismanagement continues unabated - Marian Shinn

DA MP says AG reports R106.3m in irregular expenditure at public broadcaster, non-collection of R913m in TV license fees

SABC Annual Report: Financial mismanagement & poor performance continues unabated

Financial mismanagement and poor performance at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) continues unabated, according to the public broadcaster's 2012/13 annual report tabled in Parliament today.

The DA will request the new Communications Minister, Yunus Carrim appear in Parliament to report on what steps he will be taking to improve our public broadcaster.

The DA will also propose that the Minister investigate the legality of the letter, from previous board chairperson Dr Ben Ngubane, appointing acting Chief Operating Officer, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, with a view to removing him from this post. Under Motsoeneng's tenure the management, staffing, financial and editorial crises have escalated rather than improved.

As a result of "significant matters", the Auditor-General (A-G), Terence Nombembe, gave the SABC a Disclaimer of Opinion for the 2012/13 financial year. This is a regression from the qualified audit the SABC received last year.

The ‘significant matters' described by the A-G include:

  • R106.3 million irregular expenditure;
  • Expenditure of R1.58 billion without supporting documentation; and
  • No evidence of the collection TV license fees worth R913.8 million.

The Group Chief Executive Officer, Lulama Mokhobo, also confirmed that the SABC missed its performance targets set out in the government guarantee:

  • Sponsorships were 50% (R368 million) lower;
  • Sale content was 66% (R62 million) lower; and 
  • Advertising revenue was 4% (R190 million) below budget.

The A-G also found that the financial statements submitted did not adhere to reporting standards, the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) or the Companies Act. The SABC also did not effectively review their internal audit function, experienced leadership instability and the accounting authority did not exercise its oversight responsibility effectively.

For the past six years, the SABC has lurched from crisis to crisis with no sight in end. The time for action is now.

The SABC has the potential to be a public broadcaster that holds the pride of South Africa. It is in dire need for effective leadership and a capable board to become this. Minister Yunus Carrim must roll up his sleeves and steer the SABC into calm waters.

Statement issued by Marian Shinn MP, DA Shadow Minister of Communications, September 10 2013

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