Nxesi's spending probe welcomed

By Drum Digital
30 September 2014

The SA Property Owners Association (SAPOA) welcomed Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi's announcement of a probe into the department's irregular expenditure.

The SA Property Owners Association (SAPOA) on Tuesday welcomed Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi's announcement of a probe into the department's irregular expenditure.

"SAPOA has welcomed the announcement by Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi that there will be a thorough investigation into irregular expenditure by the department of public works," CEO Neil Gopal said in a statement. Nxesi said on Monday irregular expenditure at the department amounted to R34.9 billion, some dating back to 2001. Of this total R1.1bn was suspected to have been lost to fraud and corruption. The matter was uncovered during the department's review of all transactions dating back to 2009/10.

The irregular expenditure was caused by incomplete documentation, incorrect approval of transactions, non-competitive bidding processes, incorrect calculations, and emergency procurement for non-emergency situations.

Nxesi said the extent of the irregular expenditure would be laid bare and legal processes would be pursued.

"I am doing this because I believe to promote good governance you need to be transparent and accountable," Nxesi said on Monday.

SAPOA's members control about 90 percent of all commercial property, with assets estimated at more than R400 billion in value.

Several of the commercial property owners had leases with government and were therefore affected by the public works department's functioning and ethical conduct.

Gopal said SAPOA would support the department's investigation.

"The commercial property sector will continue to put its weight behind reporting and weeding out unlawful activity identified in our dealings with the department, and support the department's anti-fraud and corruption initiatives," he said.

-SAPA

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