In an effort to root out fraud, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has joined hands with other international organisations to educate and create awareness about this type of crime among its officials.
The department said its Internal Audit Chief Directorate is embarking on a Fraud Awareness Campaign from 15 to 21 November 2020.
The department's Chief Director of Internal Audit Emilize Nezar said that during the campaign, officials will learn what constitutes fraud and corruption and how to identify indicators of such activities. The officials will also learn how to implement internal controls that will prevent, detect and combat various exposure to fraud.
"The department has adopted a zero tolerance stance towards fraud and corruption; therefore all officials are urged to play a role and support every initiative that the department takes to fight fraud and corruption," Nezar said on Wednesday.
Emilize said during the 2019/2020 financial year, the department investigated financial irregularities amounting to R3 billion.
"The pro-active work carried out by the Internal Audit Unit also averted irregular expenditure to the amount of R1.360 billion. During the 2020/2021 financial year, the same efforts also averted irregular expenditure amounting to R250 million," Nezar said.
As an on-going determination to fight fraud and corruption, Nezar added that the Directorate of Forensic Audit and Quality Assurance held 22 fraud awareness sessions with 900 officials in attendance from various directorates within the department.
"The unit also concluded 42 investigations during the 2019/2020 financial year," she said.
Nezar urged the public and other government officials to report fraud and corruption activities to the National Anti-Corruption Hotline which is hosted by the Office of the Public Service Commission by calling the 0800 701 701 toll free number.
Handover of uMshwathi Bulk Water Supply Scheme
Meanwhile, Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu will on Sunday hand over the uMshwathi Bulk Water Supply Scheme aimed at bringing relief to water stressed areas in uMshwathi Local Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal.
The Bulk Water Supply Scheme is expected to benefit more than 3 000 households in areas including Albert Falls, Mpolweni, Trustfeed and Nadi, among others.
Sisulu will be joined by KwaZulu-Natal Premier Sihle Zikalala and senior officials from provincial government, Umgeni Water, uMgungundlovu District and the uMshwathi Local Municipalities, together with several other leaders in the province.