KZN Premier cracks whip on corruption

2017-03-01 16:01
KwaZulu-Natal legislature speaker Lydia Johnson shares a hand shake with  KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu ahead of the State of the Province Address on Wednesday.

KwaZulu-Natal legislature speaker Lydia Johnson shares a hand shake with KwaZulu-Natal Premier Willies Mchunu ahead of the State of the Province Address on Wednesday. (Ian Carbutt)

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KZN Premier Willies Mchunu has promised to crack the whip on poorly performing provincial government departments and corrupt officials.

Delivering his State of the Province Address at the Pietermaritzburg Royal Showgrounds on Wednesday, Mchunu said he is not impressed with the overall state of provincial governance, which he said was still facing “deep rooted challenges”.

According to the 2015/16 annual audit outcomes, only one provincial department received a clean audit while four received qualified audit outcomes.

“This is a clear indication that there is much room for improvement in improving effective and efficient governance in state institutions. From now, onwards, HODs have been warned by the Provincial Executive Council that there will be punitive actions for any non-compliance with legislation or procedures,” he said.

Mchunu said he was sad to “acknowledge” that there are officials who are not interested in serving, “but who constantly want to serve themselves”.

He promised consequences for those implicated in corruption.

“Government can only be effective in delivering on the needs of our people if it is served by professional, dedicated and loyal officials who take pride in their work and are committed to eradicate all forms of corruption.

“We will deal firmly with fraudulent issuing of tenders and contracts to undeserving companies who advance cash, not proof of quality and capacity to perform as a basis of successful awarding of contracts.”

Mchunu said investigations by the Provincial Treasury’s Internal Audit unit had resulted in about 106 cases being sent for criminal investigations. 

“About 116 are still being investigated. A total of 57 disciplinary actions were recommended and 73 cases were handed over to the SAPS and the HAWKS.  About 10 matters of these are currently before court.

“We can also confirm that there are other 28 cases that have been completed by the SAPS, wherein 33 public servants and 5 private persons were convicted.  The amount involved was more than R41,9 million and convictions were issued to the tune of R12,9 million. A total of 15 out of the 33 convictions against the public servants were finalized between April and October 2016.”

Delivering his speech which lasted about two hours, Mchunu backed calls for radical economic transformation and radical land transformation.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  sopa 2017

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