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By Eric Naki

Political Editor

Scopa to put SABC under microscope with visit

The broadcaster is responsible for a whopping R5 billion in irregular expenditure.

Parliamentary watchdog the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) will closely scrutinise all transactions that have resulted in the irregular expenditure amounting to R5 billion at the SABC.

The committee will then decide what action should be taken against individuals responsible for fruitless and wasteful expenditure in the corporation.

Scopa is scheduled to hold a meeting with SABC management at the broadcaster’s Auckland Park, Johannesburg, headquarters tomorrow to focus on the ongoing financial mismanagement that has bedevilled the corporation for a while.

Committee chairperson Themba Godi told The Citizen yesterday his committee was particularly interested to scrutinise the transactions that had precipitated the irregular expenditure amounting to billions.

Godi said the meeting was a sequel to the Scopa hearings with SABC senior management on the financial situation at the corporation.

“Because of the changing situation at SABC and the corporation being the national broadcaster, we decided as the committee not to have a once-off meeting, but a continuous engagement.

We have decided to visit them at their operational base so that we could have a first hand view of what is going on there,” Godi said.

According to SABC acting CEO James Aguma, the SABC was responsible for a whopping R5 billion irregular expenditure, accompanied by R127 million wasteful and fruitless expenditure.

He admitted the SABC’s internal mechanisms for dealing with fruitless and wasteful expenditure were weak.

The SABC has hired a company to investigate wasteful expenditure and the firm is expected to submit a report end of this month.

Godi said Scopa will tour the corporation’s various departments such as those responsible for human resource management and internal audit and supply chain management, to get some explanations and to scrutinise documents.

Godi said the committee understood that the SABC human resource section had faced numerous challenges that the committee was interested to have a closer look into.

“We also worry that their internal audit has not been able to identify areas that could escalate into bigger problems.

“The internal audit should be able to detect irregular and wasteful expenditure and whether the rules and prescripts of the Public Finance Management Act were complied with before the Auditor-General could do that,” Godi said.

“We want to look at every transaction that has caused the irregular expenditure.

“They must give us information on who did what, when and why,” Godi said.

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