President Cyril Ramaphosa has authorised the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to begin investigations into the awarding of tenders, contracts and maladministration at a national department, two metro municipalities and a skills authority.
In a statement, the presidency confirmed that Ramaphosa gave official permission to the SIU to launch investigations into the national department of water and sanitation, the Ekurhuleni and Ethekwini metro municipalities and the Media, Information and Communication Technologies Services Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT Seta).
According to the presidency, any “public servants, persons or entities in the private sector” who are “suspected of wrongdoing” in the awarding of tenders or contracts will be investigated.
Department of water
The department of water will be probed for alleged “serious maladministration” and unlawful expenditure in its procurement contract with beleaguered German software giant SAP for information technology (IT) services.
The SIU will be tasked with looking into allegations that the contracting for these IT services from SAP was unfair, was not competitive or transparent and that “legislation, guidelines and policies had been flouted.”
The period of focus for the probe will be from January 2015 up to present but any “unlawful or improper conduct prior to January 2015 that is deemed relevant” will be taken into account.
Ekurhuleni metro municipality
In the case of this municipality, the SIU will investigate allegations of maladministration related to the purchasing of goods and services for the construction of the Vosloorus Hospital public transport facility and the Bluegum View public transport facility.
The allegations are that procurement for these two projects around February of 2014 was unauthorised and wasteful and that the process was also not transparent or cost-effective.
The SIU will probe the alleged irregular awarding of a tender for the supply of waste recycling bags. Part of this investigation will look into the conduct of directors of the company or companies involved in this tender.
According to its website, the MICT seta is mandated to generate, facilitate and accelerate the processes of quality skills development at all levels in the media, information, communication and technologies sector in South Africa.
This skills development institution will be investigated for alleged mismanagement of discretionary grant funding to a number of companies which will also be probed.