Outa lambastes Sanral over irregular spending

The South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral) must improve its internal audit abilities and end irregular, wasteful spending.

Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) portfolio manager for transport, Rudie Heyneke, said that while Sanral had decreased irregular expenditure by 63%, the R424 million it had registered in irregular expenditure was still unacceptably high. According to Heyneke, Sanral has cost the taxpayer R10 billion in irregular expenditure over the past five years.

His comments follow concerns raised by Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) last week over high, irregular, wasteful expenditure by the roads agency as well as the possibility of financial laws being flouted.

Scopa also found that Sanral had outsourced its internal audit function to an external company last year, which Outa said prevented the agency from meaningfully reducing wasteful expenditure.

Heyneke added that Sanral was already at risk of further downgrades and more bailouts from National Treasury this year as an expected decrease in e-toll fees collected would increase the state-owned entity’s impairments by another R2 billion which would follow the R3.6 billion impairment reflected in its 2017 financial statements.

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