Unit probing housing contracts worth R4bn
The total value of housing contracts being investigated by the Special Investigating Unit stood at R4-billion, President Jacob Zuma said yesterday.
Replying in writing to a parliamentary question, Zuma gave an update of the status of the unit's investigations.
In respect of the Department of Human Settlements, the president said 59 low-cost housing contracts were identified by the unit for investigation.
"From the 59 contracts, the investigations into 42 contracts have been completed and the investigations into 17 contracts are still ongoing across seven provinces," said Zuma.
Some of these contracts dated back as far as 1996.
The investigations started in April 2007 and were originally due for completion by 2010, but the deadlines were extended several times.
The investigation into the alleged misappropriated housing subsidies was done in March and a final report was being prepared.
"The estimated date for the conclusion of the remaining investigations is 30 April 2013," said Zuma.
The president said the unit had already made several "systemic findings" on the 17 contracts still being investigated. These include non-compliance with the Housing Act and National Housing Code as well as contraventions of procurement procedures.
Zuma said other findings by the unit include:
- Fruitless and wasteful expenditure amounting to R27.9-million for certain investigations;
- Potential losses estimated at more than R71-million suffered by provincial departments;
- Potential recoveries amounting to more than R100-million in respect of certain investigations;
- Various instances of misconduct by officials, employees or agents of the institutions; and
- Possible criminal charges against some of the previous and/or current heads of departments.
The intention of the probe was to uncover the mismanagement and misuse of taxpayers' money allocated to low-cost housing projects since 1994.