The New Limpopo Bridge Fund understated its revenue for 2014 by a staggering R21.6 million which was collected between November and December 2014, Parliament heard this week.
The Public Accounts Committee said as a result, the auditor-general was not satisfied that the $3.2 million disclosed in the fund’s books was the total revenue collected by the Zimbabwe National Roads Authority (ZINARA) on behalf of the Fund.
Parliament was also told that there was no contract between ZINRA and the Fund with the permanent secretary saying this was because the decision to appoint ZINARA was hurriedly taken.
The bridge which links Zimbabwe and South Africa was built as a build operate and transfer (BOT) project by the New Limpopo Bridge Company which operated it for 20 years before handing it over to the Zimbabwe government in 2014.
4.4. NEW LIMPOPO BRIDGE FUND, 2014
The Fund was established to finance the maintenance of the old and the new Limpopo bridges and the roads linking the South African and the Zimbabwean border. ZINARA was appointed as a tolling agent of the Fund which collects around $1.6 million toll fees every month. The Fund received a qualified opinion in 2014 and the issues are highlighted below.
4.4.1 Fund Revenue understated by ZAR21 577 326
The Audit observed that the financial statement had an omission of ZAR21 577 326 which was collected between November and December 2014. The Audit was therefore not satisfied that the $3 241 168 disclosed in the financial statement represented all the revenue that was collected by ZINARA on behalf of the Fund. In coming up with the revenue figure, the Fund relied on the bank statements and deposit slips supplied by ZINARA and did not keep copies of receipts and maintain monthly summaries of revenue collected. This could enable the Fund to carry out independent reconciliations against bank statements. Failure to account for all revenue collected may result in material misstatement of financial statements. Furthermore, revenue may be misappropriated if receipts and monthly returns are not submitted by ZINARA for verification.
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