Suspect tenders of R1.9bn probed in KZN
Durban - The special investigating unit (SIU) is investigating 558 procurement contracts involving R1.9bn, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize said on Monday.
"The SIU is also investigating 360 cases of conflict of interest where R3.4bn was involved," Mkhize told delegates attending an integrity leadership conference in Durban.
Delegates are expected to craft plans to deal with fraud and corruption in the public sector in KwaZulu-Natal.
The conference was attended by Public Service and Administration Minister Roy Padayachee.
Mkhize said the province’s integrity management unit, which provided strategic leadership for the provincial government on fraud and corruption, was behind arrests for corruption.
Fraud and corruption
"As we speak, the total number of public servants who are facing fraud and corruption charges in the province is 1 024."
Mkhize said 755 cases had been reported for prosecution and that other cases were at various disciplinary stages.
He said it had become clear that corruption had long-term negative effects on the efficiency of public investment.
"All corrupt officials and syndicates tend to give priority to projects and activities that generate higher private material and political gains."
Projects with high socio-economic returns were not given priority.
Mkhize said the corruption included the theft of social grants by public servants between April 2010 and March 2011.
The provincial department of education was dealing with ghost teachers who drew salaries for staff no longer employed by government.
Teachers with fake qualifications had also been caught, and some teachers and lecturers were accused of selling examination papers to pupils.
They were also demanding sexual favours in return for good grades.
"Some schools and tertiary institutions have become breeding grounds for a generation that has a weaker ethical base. We must unite and stop this slide to mediocrity."