Ezemvelo not looking after its assets, says auditor

2011-10-14 00:00

EZEMVELO KZN Wildlife received a qualified audit opinion for 2010/11, a key reason being the poor management and upkeep of its assets such as buildings and roads in its nature reserves.

In the KZN Legislature a standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) member, Jo-ann Downs, also asked why Ezemvelo bought 45 Football World Cup tickets.

The conservation entity’s CEO, Dr Bandile Mkhize, said a team is evaluating buildings, assessing what maintenance has to be carried out and working out costs for renovations and repairs.

He said the report is expected to be ready in January 2012.

Mkhize told Scopa the qualified audit opinion was because Ezemvelo had moved on to a new finance system and that in the change-over, “ a couple of things fell through the cracks; that is why we regressed”.

During last year’s mid-term review both Scopa and the legislature’s finance committee were told of buildings in wildlife parks in a state of disrepair, poor collection of gate fees and broken-down vehicles.

Yesterday Downs (ACDP) expressed concern that despite previous warnings by the legislature, Ezemvelo is still not making an effort to generate its own income and become self-sustaining.

Downs said that revenue has declined and the amount spent on advertising and marketing has decreased rather than increased to let the public know about the facilities on offer.

Mkhize said it is true that the revenue is down and that is because Ezemvelo was affected badly during the Fifa World Cup when tourists failed to visit the resorts.

However, he added, there has been an improvement and since the audit it has been on a vigorous drive to improve occupancy rates at Ezemvelo resorts and marketing and advertising budgets have been increased.

He was unapologetic about the World Cup tickets, saying they were necessary and were distributed among potential customers and strategic partners of the conservation entity,

For members of Scopa there must have been a sense of deja vu when the Ezemvelo team arrived without a written response. During last year’s mid-term review the team also failed to respond in writing, that time to a committee resolution asking how the conservation body planned to become more financially self-sustainable.

Mkhize told committee chairperson Rina Naidoo he did not know that he was required to give a written response. However, he undertook to submit the report.

Nature conservation receives between about a half and two-thirds of the funds it needs to be managed properly, according to Environment Minister Edna Molewa.

She noted that a 2009 costing exercise found a total conservation funding shortfall of about R3,4 billion.

This was mainly due to provincial environment departments “having to compete with other critical functions such as health, education and social welfare”.

• nalini@witness.co.za

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.