Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has called on South Africans to root out "bad elements" that undermine the country's economy and its institutions. He has also urged government and all its institutions to review work done by KPMG.
It was his first public reaction to the crisis which has engulfed audit firm KPMG after it decided last week to disavow a part of its report into the SA Revenue Service (SARS) and the subsequent fallout, with Business Leadership SA suspending KPMG's membership. The report has been used by Sars boss Tom Moyane as the basis of his cleanout at the revenue service and has led to the departure of more than 50 senior officials.
Gigaba said in a statement he had "deep concern" about matters surrounding KPMG. "These developments have created a bad image and have undermined the reputation of good governance and audit independence in one of the key sectors and institutions in our economy. These developments further threaten to undermine our efforts in reinforcing confidence and enhancing a climate for investments, both domestic and international," the minister said.
He reiterated his department's push for the mandatory rotation of audit firms and said government should consider regulations to ensure that integrity and good governance in the audit environment are preserved. "It cannot be in the interest of good governance to have one audit firm auditing a company perpetually."
He urged regulatory bodies and law-enforcement agencies to investigate the KPMG matter and deal with it swiftly.
"It is our belief that, despite the setback, not all is lost. We should all join hands in rooting out bad elements that undermine the optimal functioning of our promising economy and its globally reputable institutions," Gigaba said.