South Africa: SIU to Probe Pump Station Tenders

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) says it will probe allegations of corruption and maladministration at the Department of Water and Sanitation in relation to contracts tendered for the Grootfontein Pump Station and the Packaged Water Treatment Plant at Grootdraai Pump Station.

This after President Cyril Ramaphosa signed a proclamation authorising the unit to conduct the investigation.

The investigations will cover the period between January 2019 and 2 December 2022.

SIU spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, said the investigation will focus on "the procurement of, or contracting for goods, works or services by or on behalf of the Department" related to:

Repairs to Pump Number 5 at Grootfontein Pump Station.

Replacement of Rising Main 1 and 2 Power Packs and Controls at Grootfontein Pump Station.

Design, supply, installation, and commissioning of Packaged Water Treatment Plant at Grootdraai Pump Station by the Department in a manner that was not fair, competitive, transparent, equitable or cost-effective, contrary to applicable legislation, manuals, guidelines, circulars, practice notes or instructions issued by National Treasury.

"The SIU investigation will focus on unlawful or improper conduct by employees and officials that were fraudulent, improper, or unlawful by any person or entity that unduly benefited themselves or any other person. The SIU will also investigate any irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by institutions or the State," he said.

Meanwhile, President Ramaphosa also signed two amended proclamations which allow the SIU to broaden investigations into allegations of corruption and maladministration in the affairs of Eskom and the Saldanha Bay Local Municipality.

At Eskom, Kganyago said the investigation will also focus on:

Goods, works and services by Eskom's Kusile, Medupi, Kendal, Matla, Duvha, Arnot, Tutuka and Grootvlei power stations as well as Eskom's Head Office situated at Megawatt Park in Johannesburg.

Contract for information technology and related services and any subsequent extensions or amendments thereof.

Fuel oil supply contracts.

"[The] results of the [prior] investigations revealed that the SIU needs to do further investigations into areas that the existing proclamations did not cover.

"The SIU also received inundated new allegations with regards to Eskom. Many of these allegations fall outside of the existing SIU Eskom Proclamations. The SIU requested a Proclamation amendment in terms of time and focus areas," he said.

More of the affairs of the Saldanha Bay Local Municipality will also come into the ambit of the SIU investigations at the municipality.

The SIU will now also investigate:

Strategic partnership concluded between the Municipality and the Saldanha Bay Tourism Office, including the expenditure of public money paid out by the Municipality to the Saldanha Bay Tourism Office

Appointment of the Personal Assistant: Speaker and Council Support, Mayoral Support Service, Political Administrator, Strategic Advisor and Executive Mayor: Communications Officer in the year 2019/2020

Writing off by the Municipality's Council of irregular expenditure of R1 757 758 and R9 959 912, as identified by the Auditor-General of South Africa in its Notes to the Annual Financial Statements of the Municipality as at 30 June 2019, including the causes of such maladministration.

"Furthermore, the SIU probe will also look into any improper or unlawful conduct by the officials or employees of the Municipality or the applicable service providers, or any other person or entity," Kganyago said.

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