Johannesburg - Athletics SA (ASA) administrator Zola Majavu says a lack of governance was at centre of the federation's problems.
Majavu said he was now firmly in control of the federation and ASA was well on its way to turning a corner.
"I am now in control because I have access to the banking accounts of ASA, so I am the boss," Majavu said at the ASA head office in Houghton, Johannesburg, on Friday.
"It is as a result of me being able to access those funds that we are able to meet our obligations."
Majavu said he had reached a number of milestones since he was appointed by the SA Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) in April.
Prize money owed to athletes for last year's national 10km and half-marathon championships, in Kimberley and Cape Town respectively, and the Soweto marathon in November, had mostly been paid.
Moneys for the 10km championships had been paid in full, while the half-marathon championships were 96 percent paid, he said.
The bulk of the prize money still outstanding was for the Soweto Marathon, which Majavu said had been 70 percent paid.
"We are making significant inroads with regards to the payment of creditors," he said.
"When you have less money in the kitty and competing creditors, it becomes a difficult balancing act.
"Our approach was to regularise our affairs, secondly pay those in our view who matter for our business -- the staff and athletes.
"Then we start ranking the creditors in accordance with BEE, and also in accordance with the age of the debt."
He believed ASA would be able to pay half of the money owed to creditors by the middle of June.
Majavu revealed that previous administrations also failed to pay tax on prize money, going back more than 10 years.
"We have still not finished paying the receiver what is due. For example, there are taxes that are outstanding since 2001.
"These taxes are of a result of not having paid over the leviable portion in the athletes' prize moneys.
"When you pay prize money you are supposed to deduct a portion, submit a return and pay it over. As of 2001 that process has not been done correctly."
He said ASA have filed the tax returns and the federation was waiting to find out the exact amount still outstanding.
"To be frank, I don't understand why we could not keep up with some of these obligations. It was basic schoolboy errors committed in the past by whoever I shall not mention," he said.
The ASA administrator said the athletics body's rates and taxes had been brought up to date and he had ring-fenced sufficient funds for staff salaries until December.
Majavu announced that South Africa would no longer host the Southern Region Youth Championships.
However, ASA would be responsible for the 11th CAA African Junior Championships scheduled to take place at Germiston Stadium from June 27 to 30.
He said there was also enough money available to take a 24-member team to the IAAF World Championships in Moscow in August.
"Ideally we would like to increase the number to 30. What is outstanding is for us to go back to our sponsors to cater for the additional six," Majavu said.