DA calls for creation of special, powerful office to stop looting of Covid-19 funds

25 May 2020 - 11:33 By Aphiwe Deklerk
The DA wants finance minister Tito Mboweni to announce the creation of a special inspector general post to prevent looting of Covid-19 relief funds.
The DA wants finance minister Tito Mboweni to announce the creation of a special inspector general post to prevent looting of Covid-19 relief funds.
Image: ESA ALEXANDER/SUNDAY TIMES

The DA has called for the creation of a special inspector general office to help stop looting of relief funding related to Covid-19.

On Monday the party asked that finance minister Tito Mboweni announce the creation of the all-powerful office during his tabling of the budget next month.

DA finance spokesperson Geordin Gwyn Hill-Lewis announced the proposal during a press conference. He said the creation of such an office would be for the “express purpose of fighting corruption in real time”.

“There will be a huge additional injection of expenditure across government departments and across levels of government as a result of this crisis. That expenditure is going to run into the tens of billions of rands.

“What that means is that there is going to be a lot of opportunity, sadly, for corruption,” said Hill-Lewis.

He said because of the state of disaster, normal tender processes were not being followed.

“We know that there is at least R20bn allocated to municipalities across the country, that is a huge concern when the vast majority of municipalities are totally dysfunctional and financially bankrupt,” he said.

DA MP Ashor Sarupen, who was also part of the press conference, said the party wanted the appointment of the special inspector general to be done by the auditor-general and for it to be staffed by employees of different provincial treasury departments.

He said Mboweni had the powers to create the office and the appointment should be done by July this year.

“We want this inspector general to be given powers to investigate and take any and all pre-emptive action to stop corruption,” he said.

He said they wanted the special inspector general to be given powers to investigate all organs and agencies of state.

Sarupen said the party wanted the special inspector general to also have powers to prevent the payment of any monies to any individual or entity where deficiencies were found and there was potential for abuse of power and corruption.


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