Public entities deliberately hide vital information – survey


They might be called public enterprises, but the tax-paying public have a better chance of winning the lotto than getting information they need from half of institutions run by their hard-earned money.

Worryingly, results from an annual survey by audit firm, Nkonki, which Transform SA is in possession, paint a picture of parastatals that are no keen to disclose the status of their operations. Out of 20 state owned enterprises, integrated reporting standards at 10 entities have actually deteriorated, while, laudably, 10 others are said to be improving.

On evidence of statistics, even the ones said to be improving could do much better, as they only scrapped above the 50% rating. Eskom, for all its shenanigans with power station projects, came first, Transnet second and Telkom third. The list of the others include Denel, Independent Development Trust (IDC), South African Forestry Company, Development Bank, South African Nuclear Energy, Land and Agricultural Development Bank and Air Traffic and Navigation Services.

The ones that dismally failed are Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority, Airports Company of South Africa, South African Airways, Broadband Infraco, SA Express, Alexkor, SABC, Armaments Corporation, Central Energy Fund and Post Office.

In the survey, Nkonki assessed the organisations’ 2013 published annual reports based on the Public Finance Management Act. The exercise was meant to establish whether minimum disclosure requirements were being adhered to. It focused on ethical leadership, board membership and remuneration, audit committees, governance of risk, sustainability, compliance with laws and regulations, and integrated reporting.

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