New audit approach for SABC, says deputy chairman
AS FROM the current financial year the auditor-general would take over the external auditing of the SABC, deputy chairman Thami Ka Plaatjie said yesterday.
The SABC had received the final report from the Special Investigating Unit, and would work to implement its recommendations, Mr Ka Plaatjie told reporters in Johannesburg.
"As from the current financial year the audit function of the SABC will be taken over by the auditor-general in the performance of the external audit function," he said.
The SABC is owed more than R1bn in advertising fees by various government departments and advertising agencies, Communications Minister Dina Pule said last month.
The broadcaster has recently been beset by financial trouble, partly due to static advertising revenue. Difficulties experienced in collecting advertising revenue, as well as declining viewership figures, poor licence-fee collection and financial mismanagement have added to its financial woes.
"Total debt to the SABC at the end of March 2012 amounted to more than R1bn from more than 3,000 accounts.
"The SABC’s revenue is more than R5bn and the amount (R1bn) we are dealing with amounts to about 20% of it," said Ms Pule.
The public broadcaster told MPs last month it had approached the Treasury for more funds, even though it had been struggling to meet the conditions of a R1,47bn bail-out it received in 2009.
Among the conditions attached to the bail-out was that the SABC raise advertising revenue by R535m and sponsorship revenue by R128m.
Meanwhile, the broadcaster said there were no investigations into the leadership of group CEO Lulama Mokhobo, and any such inferences were "uncalled" for and "mischievous".
It is alleged that Communications Minister Dina Pule and her suspected romantic interest, businessman Phosane Mngqibisa, conspired to place close friends and family in key positions at the SABC, the South African Post Office and the communications department. Ms Mokhobo is Mr Mngqibisa’s aunt.
Ms Mokhobo said the SABC was on track to launch its 24-hour channel next month.
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