Carol Paton Writer at Large
Picture: REUTERS
Picture: REUTERS

The Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA), which borrows in the bond market to finance SA’s water infrastructure, has again delayed the finalisation of its annual financial statements for the year ended March 2019.

This is the third delay in tabling its accounts, which, under the Public Finance Management Act and JSE requirements, should be finalised by the end of September.

It is one of several state-owned entities (SOEs) that have not tabled financial statements for 2019, including SAA and SA Express.

The delay is a result of a dispute with the auditor-general over requests to furnish proof of various expenditure.

The auditor-general has concluded that the audit process and an audit report dated December 20 2019, was submitted to TCTA. The integrated annual report will be presented to the board for approval on January 30 2020.”

As parliament will be in recess over January, the annual financial statements will be tabled in parliament by February 20.

The TCTA has also been adversely affected by struggling municipal councils, which are increasingly defaulting on bulk water payments. Unpaid municipal water bills have escalated by 14%, from R13.1bn in September 2018 to R14.9bn in September 2019, according to the department of water and sanitation.

This means that water boards and authorities are not being paid in full, which has a knock-on effect on the TCTA.