Road agency wants money from State
'The delay of the roll-out of the Gauteng e-toll system is adversely affecting its financial position'
The Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) has asked the government to increase its annual budget, acting chief executive Collins Letsoalo said.
Releasing the 2011/12 annual report in Pretoria yesterday, Letsoalo said a lack of resources had led to dissatisfaction and low morale among RTMC staff.
“Every effort will need to be made to increase the RTMC budget in order for it to be efficient and effective,” he said.
“In this regard we have engaged the Department of Transport, National Treasury, and the [Parliamentary] portfolio on transport.”
He said the corporation would operate “comfortably” with a budget of R240 million.
“We would like to have more, but for us to at least operate at a level where we will be comfortable, it will be a budget of R240m,” said Letsoalo.
The agency attained an unqualified report from the Auditor General’s office in the period under review.
“I need to emphasise this. We have moved from an adverse opinion to an unqualified report. The Auditor General went through our financials but could not find any material defects that would make him qualify his report,” he said.
“This achievement bears testimony to the fact that the strict control measures and governance principles implemented resulted in no irregular, wasteful and/or irregular expenses in the corporation.”
The opinion of an auditor is classified as unqualified when the assessor concludes that the financial statements presented give a true and fair view in accordance with the financial reporting framework used for their preparation and presentation.
Sometimes called a “clean opinion”, the unqualified report is given when an auditor does not have any significant reservation in respect of matters contained in the financial statements.
In his report, Auditor General Terence Nombembe expressed concerns about issues including a deficit of R41,069,577 incurred during the financial year ended March 31.
On Monday, Letsoalo said of the R41m deficit, R34m came from material losses.
“We have written off R8m. It was one of the things which were irregularly procured, now we have written that off. We have impaired debtors to the value of R26m, mainly for [the SA National Roads Agency Limited] Sanral,” he said.
“If we add the R8m and the R26m and we marry it to the R41m (deficit) we arrive at R34m. The actual deficit is at about R7m and that is the deficit that people are emphasising on without looking at what we have done.”
He said the corporation was operating with a “miniscule budget of less than R80m”.
The delay of the roll-out of the Gauteng e-toll system was adversely affecting RTMC’s financial position. The agency had geared to do law enforcement, had the controversial gantries been operational.
“If there is no e-toll, it translates to a situation where Sanral can’t pay us. In our budget we had budget for that part, saying when we are doing this service [enforcing the tolls], they [Sanral] would pay us this much.”