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Parliament, Wednesday, 07 November 2018 – The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) was forced to send the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) back for not providing the information that the committee had requested on irregular expenditure amounting to R4.9bn. Scopa had sent letters to the SABC detailing exactly the kind of information that was required for today’s meeting. The committee was told at today’s meeting that the information that Scopa had requested on the irregular expenditure is not available. Lack of this information makes it difficult for the committee to continue with deliberations on the financial statements of the SABC that the committee should deal with.

The committee is concerned with the fact that SABC seems to have lost the momentum of cleaning out the rot that had begun when the previous interim board had been constituted. Scopa also had a sense that the interim board was compiling monthly reports on exactly what was happening at the SABC. It is therefore concerning that the current Board of the SABC has no details of the contracts that have resulted to this irregular expenditure of R4.9bn. This is particularly concerning to the committee as it had invested a lot of time working with the SABC last year to ensure that the public broadcaster comes out of the rot that it was in. The SABC seems to be regressing and that is why it is important that details of the contracts that have contributed to irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure are provided to Scopa so that the committee can have meaningful deliberations with the entity.

The committee is particularly puzzled with this lack of information particularly on irregular expenditure as the Auditor-General (AG) has consistently qualified the SABC on irregular expenditure. Scopa would then expect the entity to give special focus on all the matters that the AG raised on the SABC. The committee has requested the SABC to come back with the relevant information on Wednesday, 14 November 2018.

Scopa has also welcomed the detailed report from the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) on all the investigations at SABC. The report which detailed two phases of investigations included the specific cases, names of the people involved, the amounts involved and the status of the matters currently being investigated. This information has assisted the committee in keeping track of the consequence management that is happening at the SABC in light of the hundreds of billions of rands that should be recovered from the implicated individuals.

ISSUED BY THE PARLIAMENTARY COMMUNICATION SERVICES ON BEHALF OF THE CHAIRPERSON OF SCOPA, MR THEMBA GODI. 

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