CAPE TOWN - The auditing of the finances of the SAA for the three outstanding years was expected to start by the end of May after contractual issues have been ironed out with the Auditor-General (A-G) Tsakani Maluleke.
This was revealed by the Department of Public Enterprises when it appeared before the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) on Tuesday.
Maluleke finalised the auditing of SAA’s 2017-18 finances in February after the board requested the suspension of the audit when the airline experienced financial difficulties and wanted to address its liquidity and solvency challenges.
There are still outstanding audits for the financial years 2018-19, 2019- 20 and 2020-21. These may include the 2021-22 financial if they were not submitted by the end of the year.
Briefing Scopa, SAA CEO John Lamola said the outstanding audits had been a primary focus the new board has been seized with since the beginning of last year.
Lamola said they managed to conclude the 2017-18 audit and held a successful annual general meeting in February.
He also said audits for the outstanding years had been prepared.
“The former management and governance structures of the SAA prepared audit 2018-19 as well as 2019-20 as well, but they were not audited because of the issue of the pandemic disruption, SAA going into business rescue and technical issue of the determination of going concern of the company.”
Lamola said the negotiations were underway with the Office of Auditor-General to audit their finances.
“The 2017-18 audit was the first time the A-G audited SAA accounts. Before that, they were audited by PWC (PriceWaterHouseCoopers). This is like a new phase and the new introduction of intensive engagement with the A-G, which also involves negotiations around the fees that the A-G will be charging,” he said.
Lamola also said the A-G was busy putting together a capable team for the audit.
“They will be the audit for 4 years going through what we all found from past SAA and doing any other post-audit events that need to be recorded in the annual financial statements as they will be published,” he said.
“The target is that by the end of this month all the contractual issues that have to be undertaken between the management and the A-G on the fee structure will be finalised, and the actual activity commence,” Lamola added.