Black auditing firm scoops Transnet deal

Pretoria – SizweNtsalubaGobodo has been appointed as the first locally grown and black-owned firm to handle the audit account of Transnet, says Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba.

Gigaba said the appointment was a major milestone in the transformation of the accounting and auditing profession.

“This reaffirms our commitment to ensuring that state-owned companies, as entrusted to us by the people of South Africa, are used as agents of change and transformation of our economy,” he said on Monday.

“We have identified our infrastructure rejuvenation programmes and provision of professional services among our entities as one of the key vehicles by which we will achieve this.”

The minister encouraged the private sector to use the services of firms that have demonstrated skills and expertise in their area of competence.

SizweNtsalubaGobodo was selected out of three bidders based on criteria set by the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors. The criteria were: technical ability, black economic empowerment and price.

“The integrity of our financial statements is one of the key elements that determine our ability to raise funds in both domestic and international markets – this is crucial for our capital investment programme. I have no doubt that we have selected one of, if not, the best in the country (audit partners),” Mafika Mkwanazi, Chairman of the Board of Directors said.

Transnet, which recently announced that it would increase its capital investment programme to R300 billion over the next seven years from the current R110 billion rolling five-year programme, raises its funding on the strength of its balance sheet without subsidies or guarantees from the fiscus.

In the previous financial year, the state-owned transport and logistics company achieved annual revenue of R38 billion with audit fees of just over R60 million, making it one of the biggest audit contracts in the country.

SizweNtsalubaGobodo’s CEO Victor Sekese described the contract as an honour for the industry.

“We are delighted that a company of Transnet’s size with such an enormous responsibility in this economy has shown confidence in one of us. We are aware that our performance in the Transnet account will determine the fate of local players in future,” he said. – BuaNews

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