SIU says funding crisis threatens work

2012-04-20 16:02
Cape Town - A severe cash crisis is hampering the Special Investigating Unit (SIU)'s capacity to probe corruption, acting chief financial officer Garth Elliot said on Friday.

The unit had been forced to terminate the contracts of part-time staff, he said in Cape Town after a briefing to Parliament's portfolio committee on justice.

At present, the SIU had to make do without about R175m that is due to it from state entities, leaving R307m that was directly allocated from National Treasury for this financial year.

"Our budget consists of these two components. That part is being held back, so we do have serious cash flow problems," he said.

The funding shortfall has come about after Eskom pointed out last year that the unit's founding statute did not expressly allow it to invoice state entities for the investigations it conducts.

Capacity


Head of investigations Gerhard Visagie said: "We sought legal opinion and in fact it was confirmed that we are not allowed to bill state institutions. We had been openly doing that for seven or eight years.

"It was rather catastrophic for us. It cut 35% out of our budget."

Visagie said the unit had given notice to some 100 consultants that were working alongside the unit's 600 permanent members.

"May 4 or 5 will be their last day. We hope that the issue can be addressed because ... it is going to seriously affect our capacity."

He said the unit urgently needed an amendment to the legislation to allow it to take remuneration from departments and hoped it would be in place by October.

The SIU's budget was increased by 2.3% in 2012/13, amounting to a reduction in real terms.

MPs from across the political spectrum expressed shock that the SIU's allocation was four times smaller than that of the public protector.

R30bn lost to corruption

Said ANC MP John Jeffery: "I'm not comfortable with this. It is not the same role, these people are collecting money."

He was referring to the misspent state funds the SIU recovered in the course of its work.

The workload of the unit has increased significantly after it received seven new proclamations in recent months, and three long-running investigations were extended.

Among these is a probe into procurement practices in the police force, which was pointing to irregular spending of up to R1.5bn.

Head of strategy Zola Ntolosi said: "There are definite indications of irregularity in this regard and this will probably produce significant results."

The former head of the SIU, Willie Hofmeyr, estimated last year that up to R30bn in state funds was lost to corruption annually.

The unit said on Friday this estimate still held true.
- SAPA
Read more on:    siu
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
14 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Wine
 

You HAVE to see this MTB Tsunami Fip!

You might not know what a Tsunami Flip is, but just watching this will turn your eyes into saucers. Check out this first-ever MTB Tsunami Flip in contest here.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Bear Grylls’ top 10 things kids should do outdoors
Mountain unicycling – say WHAT?
Top tips to ensure you’re running right
Stand-up paddle boarding a great workout

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Pushing too hard and doing too much may have left you feeling drained and overwhelmed. You may need time out to recharge and reset...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.