Pretoria – The Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) has been elected as the external auditor of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the 2024–29 term.
After a rigorous bidding process, UNESCO announced South Africa’s Supreme Audit Institution (SAI) as its new auditors.
Welcoming the positive development, Auditor-General Tsakani Maluleke said: “As the national audit office, we are delighted at this international endorsement of our capabilities and the quality of our auditing.
“This is good news for our country and demonstrates that we are a global force to be reckoned with.
“It also recognises the hard work of the more than 3 700 AGSA employees. We dedicate this celebration to all the citizens of our country”.
On Sunday, President Cyril Ramaphosa commended Maluleke on her appointment as External Auditor of UNESCO for a period of six years, from 2024 to 2029.
President Ramaphosa said: “On behalf of the government and the nation, I congratulate our Auditor-General on her election to a global role which is an acknowledgment of her personal capabilities and the leadership capacity and integrity that resides in South Africa’s governance institutions”.
President Ramaphosa appointed Maluleke, on recommendation of the National Assembly, as Auditor-General with effect from 1 December 2020.
She had previously been Deputy Auditor-General and the first woman to hold this office.
Maluleke is a Chartered Accountant and registered auditor who holds a B Comm (Accounting) and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Accountancy from the University of Cape Town.
She also obtained a Post-graduate Diploma in Development and Public Management from the University of the Witwatersrand in 2016.
Maluleke was elected to her UNESCO role on 16 November 2023 by members of various committees and subsidiary organs of this United Nations agency.
UNESCO contributes to peace and security by promoting international cooperation in education, sciences, culture, communication and information.
President Ramaphosa wished Maluleke well as she embarks on her new oversight position.
“I extend words of appreciation and special thanks to our government, especially the departments of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) and Basic Education 2 (DBE) for showing confidence in the national audit office’s capabilities and supporting us through the process,” said Maluleke.
As UNESCO’s external auditors, the AGSA’s responsibilities will include issuing a report on the financial statements and relevant schedules of the UN agency, its institutes, and related functions.
Maluleke said her team was ready to take on this new assignment, “and we will diligently carry our country’s flag in promoting the auditing profession”.
She added that UNESCO will obtain “maximum benefit from our integrated approach that combines financial audit with compliance and performance of the institution”.
#TeamAGSA will provide insights into critical education aspects that contribute to improving the quality of teaching and learning skills development.
It will assess how effectively, efficiently, and economically UNESCO donor funding is used; deliver improved root cause analysis of the detailed findings; and offer better, more impactful recommendations that will lead to more effective corrective actions.
UNESCO is a specialised agency of the United Nations (UN) that aims to promote world peace and security through international cooperation in education, arts, science, and culture.
It has over 190 member states and 12 associate members, as well as partners in the non-governmental, intergovernmental, and private sectors.
Over the years, the AGSA has built an international reputation as a SAI with solid auditing and governance systems.
In 2021, the World Bank ranked the audit office as one of two national audit offices in the world (the other being Seychelles) that have complete independence to carry out their audit mandates in their respective countries.