“The SABC has made R330m in profits after taxes, and we will be paying off the government guaranteed loan at the end of September,” she said.
Mokhobo said the partial financial freedom would not translate into careless spending, but would be invested in turnaround strategies, including the training of staff in its finance department.
She said an audit had found that financial instability within the SABC had resulted in skilled financial department employees vacating crucial posts.
For the 2012/2013 financial year, the SABC received a disclaimer of opinion — the worst audit opinion — from auditor-general Terence Nombembe. A disclaimer is issued if the AG cannot form an opinion and thus declines to present an opinion on an entity’s financial statements.
In the SABC’s annual report, tabled in parliament on Tuesday, Nombembe cited financial mismanagement and inadequate controls as reasons for the disclaimer.
In his audit report, he found, among other things, that the SABC had spent more than R1,5bn for which it was not able to provide corresponding documentation to show what the money was used for.
The SABC had also failed to adhere to the laws governing taxpayers’ money. “Irregular expenditure to the amount of R106,3m was incurred, as proper tender processes had not been followed,” said Nombembe. It also emerged that the broadcaster had procured goods and services through unfair and untransparent means.
Dismissing media reports that the SABC faced financial ruin, Mokhobo said its major flaw was a financial reporting system which vastly differed with that used by the AG. “The hybrid system that we were sitting with in reporting our finances was different to what the AG had, creating the confusion,” she said.
“When the AG assisted us, we found that his system was much wider and deeper and was not what we had previously used.” — Sapa