The government has launched a new anti-corruption initiative. This time it is aimed at safeguarding the multi-billion rand Infrastructure Investment Plan which forms part of the country’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.
Minister for Public Works and Infrastructure Development Patricia De Lille and Head of the Special Investigations Directorate Advocate Andy Mothibi launched the Infrastructure Built Anti-Corruption Forum in Cape Town.
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At the launch of the forum, Minister De Lile said corruption in the built environment has run rampant for too long and that the state has structures in place, but the government cannot do this work alone.
The government has, therefore, brought together the private sector, public entities and civil society to work together on more effective ways to detect, prevent and act against corruption.
“Our people need better roads, hospitals, schools, better services, better government buildings and we cannot allow the crooks to continue to steal billions from infrastructure. People, no matter who they are, cannot be allowed to continue to steal and stifle progress and delivery at the expense of the, most vulnerable in our society. Anyone involved in corrupt activities, found guilty, must face the full consequences of the law,” de Lille.
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Role-players in fight against corruption
While the Department of Public Works And Infrastructure Development and the SIU will lead the forum, other important role players are included – the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation or Hawks, the Financial Intelligence Centre, Corruption Watch, the Council for the Built Environment as well as Master Builders South Africa.
“What is different about the forum is that we bring together all the stakeholders. Law enforcement, civil society, the private sector, state institutions. By having all the relevant parties sitting together around the same table, the necessary work to be done in attending to the allegations can be allocated to the relevant structure and relevant party who is best to deal with the matter based on their mandate,” the Minister added.
On corruption-related matters, SIU Head Andy Mothibi was asked how far the investigations were regarding corruption allegations against Health Minister Dr Zweli Mkhize.
Mkhize has been linked to allegations that his department awarded a communications contract worth around R80 million to a company linked to the minister’s associates.
Mothibi says investigations on the matter are about to be concluded.
“Where there is a need for consequence management in the department, we will refer those to the DG. Where there’s a need for prosecution, our law requires us to send it to the NPA and where there’s a need for any action against anyone at any level, including the executive authority, we will do so.”
Investigation at advanced stage: SIU