14 March 2018

South Africa: Parliamentary Inquiry Into Leaking Water Department Going Ahead

Another Parliamentary inquiry is set to be instituted after MPs agreed on Wednesday to hold a joint inquiry into the ailing Department of Water and Sanitation.

The Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation and the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) met on Wednesday to discuss the terms of reference for the inquiry.

This after the portfolio committee resolved in November that there was a need for an investigation. Scopa had asked to be included in the proceedings.

The department under former minister Nomvula Mokonyane has come under repeated fire for its cash flow problems and debts and accrual of close to R5bn during the 2016/17 financial year.

The Auditor-General's report for the same period showed the department only met 28% of its targets, and had overspent its budget by R2bn.

Public participation process

The two committees will get input from the Auditor-General, National Treasury and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), among others, during the probe.

"The joint committee has also agreed to have a public participation process that will request submissions from members of the public to add value to the inquiry," Scopa chairperson Themba Godi said on Wednesday.

It will also look at having officials from law enforcement such as the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority present.

Godi said the committees would now hold a preliminary meeting with the Auditor-General and Treasury next week to decide on time frames and analysis. They will also ask Parliament to provide an evidence leader.

Full details and the inquiry's scope will be finalised after that meeting.

Source: News24

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