Stop corruption, premier warns

2017-03-08 06:00

KWAZULU-NATAL Premier Willies Mchunu has issued a stern warning to corrupt officials while urging the private sector to refrain from offering bribes to state employees.

Mchunu delivered his first State of the Province Address in a packed Olympia Hall at the Royal showgrounds last week.

In his address, Mchunu said the government has implemented the latest amendment to the public service regulations to curb fraud and corruption.

“The government can be effective in delivering on the needs of our people if it is served by professional, dedicated and loyal officials who are committed to eradicating all forms of corruption.

“We will deal firmly with the fraudulent issuing of tenders to undeserving companies that advance cash. We will be ruthless to corrupt officials who don’t abide by the rules,” said Mchunu.

He said 33 public servants were arrested from April to October 2016. There have been 106 cases which have been forwarded for criminal investigation. Another 116 are still under investigation and in 57 cases, disciplinary action was recommended.

Mchunu stressed the issue of service providers as he said there is an “over-reliance on external service providers and consultations in some departments”.

“We recognise the need for specialist service providers and we do understand that some skills are not easy to in source. We have then resolved to be extra careful on the appointment and the use of consultants to ensure that we get value for money and where feasible, eliminate it altogether,” he said.

Mchunu acknowledged the issue of overcrowding in some township and rural schools. He also highlighted the importance of keeping existing jobs while creating more. He said radical economic transformation will play a huge role in fighting poverty, unemployment and inequality. The government will look to give black-owned enterprises a chance but there will be training for local small contractors to ensure quality work. He added that the government will sign a memorandum of understanding with Shanghai.

“We have called on our provincial Treasury [Belinda Scott] to ensure that supply chain management processes, procedures, practices, structures, policies and decisions, are reviewed to advance radical economic transformation,” he said.

Mchunu was not pleased with the governance of most departments and promised to “deal” with those that failed to receive clean audits for the 2015/16 financial year.

“HODs have been warned by the provincial executive council that there will be punitive actions for any non-compliance with legislation or procedures,” said Mchunu.

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