In the 2019/20 financial year, Transnet incurred irregular expenditure of R9,965 billion. The legacy of non compliant procurement events continues to have a lingering effect on the business.
In particular, past procurement practices that were not in accordance with the Preferential Procurement Framework, dating back as far as the 2011/12 financial year, resulted in a significant increase in reported irregular expenditure. In prior years there was exemption to certain clauses of the PPPFA on all Schedule 2 and Schedule 3B enterprises.
The cumulative irregular expenditure including the 2019/20 year amounts to R114,3 billion, confirming the challenges facing the company to arrest the PFMA non-compliance.
Efforts to improve PFMA compliance resulted in 4% of the total Irregular expenditure of R9,965 billion arising from contracts entered into in the current financial year, a significant improvement. The process to identify and accurately report all irregular expenditure is largely manual in nature and continues to result in reporting inaccuracies.
The resultant concern relating to the completeness of the reported irregular expenditure has resulted in the external auditors issuing a qualified opinion for the 2019/20 year.
It is important to emphasise that the financial statements are compliant with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). The qualification has mainly been as a result of noncompliance with the PFMA in the supply chain management processes and Transnet internal processes.
The qualification has no bearing on the financial strength and sustainability of Transnet, as depicted in the annual financial statements.