The Presidency said the SIU has been tasked with investigating any improper or unlawful conduct by personnel in various government departments
Image: Phumza Sakona Ntongana

President Cyril Ramaphosa has authorised the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate suspected wrongdoing by public servants and the private sector in the awarding of tenders by the national Department of Water and Sanitation.

The Presidency confirmed in a statement on Thursday that the SIU would also probe contracts involving the Ekurhuleni and eThekwini metropolitan municipalities.

“The Media‚ Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT Seta) will also be investigated for alleged maladministration in relation to the allocation of discretionary grant funding to a number of companies‚ which will themselves also be probed‚” said the Presidency.

The latest proclamations complement a number of investigations called for by Ramaphosa since his undertaking in the state of the nation address that “this is the year in which we will turn the tide of corruption in our public institutions”.

In terms of the latest proclamations‚ the SIU will investigate the national Department of Water and Sanitation for “alleged serious maladministration and unlawful expenditure of public money in the procurement or contracting of information technology services from the enterprise software provider SAP.

“The SIU will look into allegations that the procurement of‚ or contracting for‚ information technology-related services from SAP had not been fair‚ competitive‚ transparent‚ equitable or cost-effective‚ and that legislation‚ guidelines or policies had been flouted.”

The Presidency said the SIU had also been tasked with investigating any improper or unlawful conduct by personnel of the department or SAP‚ or any other person or entity‚ as well as the causes of such conduct‚ and any losses‚ damage or actual or potential prejudice suffered by the department or the state.

“The investigation will focus on a period between January 2015 and the present‚ although unlawful or improper conduct prior to January 2015 that is deemed relevant to this matter will be taken into account.”

In the case of the Ekurhuleni metropolitan municipality‚ the SIU investigation relates to alleged serious maladministration and improper or unlawful conduct by employees‚ officials‚ agents or contractors of the municipality‚ arising from the procurement of goods and services for the construction of the Vosloorus Hospital Public Transport Facility and the Bluegum View Public Transport Facility.

The SIU will investigate claims that procurement for these projects during a period around February 2014 had been unauthorised‚ irregular or fruitless and wasteful and that procurement had not been fair‚ competitive‚ equitable or cost-effective.

“With regard to the eThekwini metropolitan municipality‚ the SIU has been authorised to investigate the allegedly irregular award of a tender‚ in a period around January 2014‚ for the supply to the municipality of waste recycling bags‚” said the Presidency.