Fraud: nine officials fired, firm blacklisted

2010-04-21 00:00

THE Public Works Department in KwaZulu-Natal has blacklisted a construction company from doing business with the government and fired nine officials from the department for engaging in fraudulent and corrupt activities.

Delivering her budget presentation in the KZN Legislature yesterday, the MEC for Human Settlement and Public Works, Maggie Govender, said these steps were taken as part of a campaign to eliminate fraud and corruption within the department.

The company, which cannot be named because of ongoing legal proceedings, was blacklisted for — among other offences —bribery to win tender awards and fronting in terms of regulation 15 of the Preferential Procurement Framework Act.

The dismissed officials were either in the inspection wing of the department or involved in one way or another with procurement.

Govender said thorough and wide-ranging investigations into the awarding of contracts, the administration of contracts and the fraudulent role that department officials have played were authorised during the 2009/2010 financial year.

She said the implicated contractors will be prosecuted throgh both the criminal system and the civil courts with the aim of recovering the losses to the department.

Govender disclosed that the investigations have also identified multi-layered levels of fraud, fronting and contract manipulation that implicate other contractors who appear to have acted in collusion with officials in the department.

Govender said R221 million has been requested from the National Treasury to settle debts the department owes to various municipalities in the province. This follows inefficiency in the disbursement of the R236 million conditional grant allocated to the department during the last financial year.

As part of the department’s property management programme, 96 provincially owned properties in 293 townships, ministerial houses, former urban representatives’ houses and vacant land and sites, will be sold. The sale is expected to generate about R80 million.



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