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Parliament deadline missed

Parliament deadline missed.
Parliament deadline missed.
Image: GCIS

At least six public entities, including financially troubled SAA and tertiary education funder NSFAS, have failed to submit audited annual reports to parliament by the legal deadline of September 30. This was announced by parliament yesterday in its public communication mechanism, the ATC.

The ATC listed six letters from ministers such as Pravin Gordhan of public enterprises, Blade Nzimande of higher education and Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma of co-operative governance, in which they explained reasons for failing to submit their audited financial statements to parliament.

This is not the first time cash-strapped and state-owned airlines SAA and SA Express have missed the deadline to submit their annual reports to parliament.

In his letter to parliament's two houses - the National Assembly and the National Council of Provinces - Gordhan told MPs that the boards of SAA and SA Express had been unable to finalise and submit their annual reports to him within the time frames set out in the Public Finance Management Act.

"Both airlines are experiencing serious financial challenges and are unable to meet going concerns," said Gordhan.

"The SAA board has informed me that the newly appointed interim CEO and the interim CFO need more time to submit the required information for audit to the auditor-general for the 2018/2019 financial year."

He said the airline's financial statement would be submitted "as soon as the going concern challenges are resolved".

He also reported that state-owned mining firm Alexkor was also unable to submit its annual report for similar reasons.

For his part, Nzimande told MPs that he was not in a position to table the NSFAS annual report.

Nzimande said the office of the auditor-general had raised material issues about NSFAS, which disburses about R32bn in loans to tertiary students.

"The auditor-general has informed the NSFAS of a material issue which requires further analysis and evaluation. This has an impact on the valuation of the NSFAS student loan book since 2014," says Nzimande is his letter to parliament.

"The auditor-general has advised that it will inform NSFAS on October 4 2019 as to what the remaining timelines will be for the completion of the audit, which is a prerequisite for the completion of the annual report for 2018/2019."

Dlamini-Zuma said her department was unable to submit its annual report on time due to "the incomplete audit of assets related to the community works programme".

"The delayed submission of the 2018/2019 annual financial statements by the department consequently impacted on the time-frame for the finalisation of the audit process by the auditor-general," she said in the letter.

Energy minister Gwede Mantashe reported that nuclear energy firm Necsa would submit its annual report only by the end of October. This was after it requested more time before submitting anything to the auditor-general.

"Necsa group annual report will not be submitted within the required time frame due to a decision which was taken to extend the audit process until 30 September 2019. Necsa board had requested for an extension to submit its group draft annual financial statement to auditor-general."