Public accounts committee gets tough on mismanagement at SABC

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Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) is cracking the whip on the ailing SABC’s management, vowing to help it get back on its feet until it can fully operate on its own.

Scopa conducted an oversight visit to the SABC offices yesterday to scrutinise the issues that have resulted to the amount of financial mismanagement revealed by the Auditor General last year.

During the oversight visit, Scopa conducted an in loco inspection at the Internal Audit section, Supply Chain Management section and the Human Resources section speaking to employees in all of these departments.

According to Scopa, this exercise was to get to the root of where the problem is, as these are the sections whose lack of proper management and financial controls have led and contributed to the financial mess that the SABC is in currently.

Among some of the shocking revelations during the visit, it was found that there are a lot of vacant positions at the SABC, particularly at senior management level, something the committee said speaks to leadership instability at the corporation.

“The committee is also concerned about the manner in which suspensions are being handled at the SABC. Scopa found that some suspensions, which are on full pay, can take up to more than a year to be resolved. This has a serious impact on the finances of the institution and if this way of dealing with suspensions is not remedied, it will have dire consequences for the SABC,” the committee said.

After engaging with the management of the SABC and the newly appointed interim board of the SABC, Scopa has requested the SABC to furnish the committee with a detailed list of all consultants the corporation has used in the past two years that were referred to by the Auditor-General in the Annual Report.

It has also requested management to explain in detail what action management has taken against those employees that have paid for services without contracts in place, which contributed to the R5bn irregular expenditure at the SABC.