Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille and head of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) advocate Andy Mothibi on Thursday signed an anti-corruption pledge with members of the Infrastructure Built Anti-Corruption Forum.
The Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, together with the SIU, brought various private and public sector representatives on board who agreed to serve on the forum, which has met several times since the forum’s launch in May 2021.
Speaking at the signing ceremony held in Pretoria, De Lille said corruption is another pandemic and every effort must be made to fight corruption with all stakeholders, government, the private sector, civil society and communities working together to stem this scourge.
“Corruption steals from the poor and stifles service delivery and progress. Government must ensure that all in society play their part in defeating the scourge of corruption. Prevention and combatting of corruption requires education, behavioural change and a multi-pronged approach from all levels of society,” said De Lille.
De Lille said corruption is a societal problem and fighting corruption is everyone’s business.
“Corruption hinders social and economic development and increases poverty by diverting domestic and foreign investment away from where it is most needed.
“We must also do a lot more to put systems in place to prevent and detect corruption before it occurs.”
She said the SIU has been conducting and is continuing to conduct investigations in the department in terms of four presidential proclamations.
She also explained that the focus areas of the proclamations include the capital projects delivered by the department, supply chain management irregularities with regard to property leased from the private sector, and renovations to prestige facilities.
“Emanating from the investigations, the SIU recommends to the department to institute disciplinary action against departmental officials where there is prima-facie evidence justifying such action,” De Lille said.
According to the minister, out of 6 978 cases investigated by the SIU under presidential proclamations, 6 623 have been finalised and 355 are still pending.
Out of 91 disciplinary referrals to the department, 86 cases have been finalised and five are still pending.
“The sanctions for finalised cases ranged from dismissals, found not guilty, resigned before the hearings, death or retired before finalisation of cases, final warnings and suspension without pay,” De Lille said.
De Lille added that out of 292 criminal referrals to the law-enforcement agencies, 18 cases have been finalised, 240 matters are before the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) for decision, 23 cases were referred to the SA Revenue Service for further investigation, six matters are still with the police for investigation and five matters are before the courts of law.
She said the SIU is further recovering R1.3-billion through civil courts and its tribunal.
De Lille encouraged members of the public to report any alleged corruption or fraud on projects within the Infrastructure Investment Plan to the SIU.
Also speaking at the ceremony was Mothibi, who welcomed the multi-sector approach to the fight against corruption.
“The Infrastructure Built Anti-Corruption Forum will galvanise all stakeholders into action and ensure that infrastructure built projects are monitored more effectively and put measures and systems in place to fight against fraud and corruption, identify areas of co-operation to enhance prevention, detection, civil litigation, and prosecution of fraud and corruption in the infrastructure build sector,” said Mothibi.
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