The fruitless and wasteful expenditure of four state-owned enterprises alone has exceeded a billion rand.
JOHANNESBURG - The fruitless and wasteful expenditure of four state-owned enterprises alone has exceeded a billion rand.
SOEs are in the worst position they have been - in five years, that's according to the auditor general's office.
“A lot of them rely on bailouts, a lot of them rely on lenders giving them money or extending their debt. This comprises their own operations and their own financial viability, to fulfill their mandate and even to compete with entities in their sectors," said Zolisa Zwakala, from the Auditor General's office.
The full extent of irregular, as well as wasteful expenditure at SOEs can’t be determined, this is because South African Airways is not a going concern, and has not produced financial statements.
“The non-submission of annual financial statements from SAA for the past two financial years needs urgent attention. We’ve written to the board - both the current board and the one that left. There’s been correspondence to the minister to please assist,” Zwakala said.
Transnet is the only SOE under the control of Public Enterprises, that's been able to turn a profit.
But it’s responsible for more than half of the R79-million in irregular expenditure over its locomotive contracts.
Public Enterprises says SOEs are still suffering from state capture.
“The weight of the previous years is still being felt in the present. The performance is less than expected. But there is light despite the difficulties that are there,” said Phumulo Masualle, Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises.
The auditor general's office is concerned about the lack of consequences for those who've caused these dire financial problems.
Turnaround plans are also not getting the traction they need.