Dear Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA),
Good day Honorable Members
The Busi Mavuso walkout seems to have lit a fire to the ongoing ESKOM saga.
Thank you to you and the other members of SCOPA for remaining focussed on the main thing, which is demanding accountability by the current Eskom Board on the 23 Recommendations made in 2019 by SCOPA.
Control is seldom painless.
Well done in keeping up the pressure.
Looking forward to see the updated progress report on those 23 recommendations ie. Where things are still wip.
OVERSIGHT BY THE ESKOM BOARD
I revisited the AGSA briefing notes to SCOPA regarding the most recent audit report.
The oversight by the ESKOM board...
"The matters reported below are limited to the significant internal control deficiencies that resulted in the basis for the qualified opinion and the findings on compliance with legislation included in this report. The accounting authority did not exercise adequate oversight responsibility regarding compliance with applicable legislation and related internal controls that resulted in the lack of proper procurement and contract management processes as well as effective consequence management practices. Action plans developed to address internal control deficiencies were not, in all instances, adequate. As part of exercising its oversight responsibility regarding compliance with applicable legislation and related internal controls, the accounting authority is in progress of developing action plans to address the internal control deficiencies. As the actions plans have not yet been implemented fully, we identified instances of non-compliance ..."
So if the ESKOM BOARD have not: - exercised adequate oversight, - made sure that action plans are adequate and - acted timely to remove delays with the compiling of action plans
Is it a case of CAN'T or WON'T?
IF it is CAN'T .. the ESKOM Board itself needs to be strengthened and properly capacitated, at least until such time as ESKOM's operations are normalised.
IF it is WON't..well then the ESKOM Board needs an attitude adjustment failing which they should be replaced.
I assume its a CANt scenario and then the areas where the ESKOM BOARD needs to be beefed up...
MATERIAL MISSTATEMENTS The audit opinion history shows that Material misstatements in the submitted financial statements emerged as an issue in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 financial statements.
This coincides with the appointment of ESKOMs new board.
To me this suggests the new ESKOM Board is currently underweight in terms of capacity to produce credible financial statements.
SPECIAL TRIBUNAL One thing that I found strange is that there is no gazette issued by the Special Tribunal to dedicate resources from the SIU to deal with ESKOM theft, fraud, sabotage etc. There is one for PRASA for instance WHY NOT one for ESKOM? Why is this so? Is it an oversight? Did someone not apply to have this done?
If so, perhaps SCOPA's next round of recommendations can correct this omission.
I am sure there are far more matters than the above which will come to the fore in the next month or so as we head towards winter. Perhaps a very dark and cold one.