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Media release

For immediate release

5 September 2017

RAL'S RESPONSE TO DA'S MISREPRESENTATION OF ITS AUDIT REPORT

The Road Agency Limpopo (RAL) SOC Ltd notes with great disappointment approach by Mr Langa Bodlani – a Democratic Alliance MPL in the Limpopo Legislature on his reading of the Auditor-General report on the agency’s financial statements and other legal and regulatory requirements for the 2016/17 financial year. Mr Langa Bodlani has clearly misinterpreted the audit report, as published, and as a result has overlooked the improved performance of the agency over the past three years, and the people of Limpopo at large.

AG's annual assessment of RAL over the past three financial years reveal that:

  • RAL has moved from adverse (2014/5) to qualified (2015/16) to unqualified (2016/7)
  • Not taken selectively, the turnaround strategy since the agency was returned from administration is bearing fruit

RAL recognizes the pressure and challenges it faces in its mandate to deliver new, tarred quality road network while maintaining the current road infrastructure. To put it into context of where the agency was three years ago to where it is going, we ought to evoke the following facts of the province:

  • Limpopo road network which enables the province to connect to provinces and countries that are contiguous with it, such as Gauteng, North West and Mpumalanga to the South and Botswana (West), Zimbabwe (North) and Mozambique (East) respectively, is under immerse pressure from both cross-border and domestic traffic. Just this week, StatsSA named Limpopo as the number one travel destination in its latest Domestic Tourism Survey.
  • It is the most rural of the nine provinces. RAL itself acknowledged a backlog of 14,332 km that needs upgrades, repairs and maintenance as per current financial year estimates. However, the word "backlog" is not a swear word and should not be misconstrued to insinuate that road infrastructure is note prioritised, as this overshadows the insurmountable efforts made by the agency and the provincial government to address the backlog, amongst other trade-offs to deliver other services to the province.
  • It has the highest percentage of black Africans of the nine provinces. So, naturally they will dominate the economy and to suggest conspiracy theories to this obvious assimilation into their economy is an insult to the people of Limpopo and should be frowned at.

RAL accepts that the road to financial health will be littered with potholes, and will not happen overnight. With the Auditor-General noting irregular expenditure, RAL has reviewed the current structure of the financial unit and taken the following steps to address internal control deficiencies by supporting its financial management systems, particularly in finance and asset management:

  • Appointment of a procurement specialist Supply Chain Management - Procurement of infrastructure.
  • Appointment of more Chartered Accountants.

When the current Board of Directors was appointed RAL was found to have incurred irregular expenditure transactions amounting to more than R1.7 billion. The amount of R1.6 billion that was disclosed in the financial statements and the 2016/17 audit report is taking into account transactions that were incurred between the financial years 2007/08 to 2014/15. During the financial year under review (2016/17), RAL only sustained irregular expenditure in the amount of R135 million, which arose from payments made as a result of appointments made irregularly in prior years.

Together for better roads.

Ends
Issued by:
ROADS AGENCY LIMPOPO (SOC) Ltd
Enquiries:
Maropeng Manyathela
Communications
Tel: 015 284 4627
Cell: 082 333 2802

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