Business Leadership SA lauds progress of KPMG's new leadership, lifts suspension

Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) has recognised KPMG South Africa’s commitment to transparency and has decided to lift the suspension of the auditor’s membership.

According to a statement issued by BLSA on Thursday, its board has noted the progress made by the firm’s new leadership, since the fallout of the SARS rogue unit report last year. As a result BLSA suspended KPMG in September 2017 pending the outcome of an investigation into the auditor's involvement in state capture.

The auditor’s CEO Trevor Hoole and seven others resigned, following KPMG’s announcement that the conclusion of the SARS report - that former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan ought to have known about the rogue unit – could no longer be relied upon.

Nhlamulo Dlomu was promptly appointed as CEO to help restore trust and confidence in the firm. Other notable appointments which have been recognised by BLSA include those of Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu as chairperson as and Ms. Ansie Ramalho as independent director on the board.

“BLSA commends the unwavering commitment of the new leadership at KPMG, including full cooperation of the firm in all investigations, various interventions at changing the culture and full commitment to becoming a solution to the challenges facing South Africans,” said CEO Bonang Mohale.

The organisation will also participate in the strategy review process of KPMG, he said.

BLSA also is encouraged by KPMG’s efforts to “opening themselves up” to scrutiny through the publication of the KPMG Baseline Report.

“KPMG’s commitment to sharing information in an open and transparent manner should be welcome. Under the new leadership, KPMG supports efforts by BLSA to defeat state capture and corruption while driving inclusive growth and transformation in our society,” the statement read.

KPMG SA in turn issued a statement acknowledging the lifting of its suspension.

“We are grateful to our business peers for their recognition of the key reforms and hard work undertaken to restore public trust and strengthen the firm’s operations. We recognise that we have not yet fully put the past behind us, and that there is more to be done to restore KPMG South Africa’s place in the business community,” KPMG’s statement read.

Earlier this week KPMG announced that Dlomu would be taking on a global role which will focus on organisational culture change and ethical leadership. The auditor said its search for a new CEO is “well advanced”.

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