The Public Works Department has lost over R2 billion to fraud and corruption as a result of 16 000 suspicious transactions.

This was discovered during an investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

These revelations were made during a joint media briefing by public works Minister Thulas Nxesi and SIU Head, Advocate Andy Mothibi in Pretoria.

Minister Nxesi calls it a ‘Department of Tenders’, that include R2 billions of tax payers’ money lost.

The looting took place between 2013 and 2016.

Hundreds of jobs for pals were also created in the department.

Nxesi says, “Following an internal investigation which pointed to 16 000 suspicious transactions to the R2 billion, I also found that 684 appointments had been pushed through in four months – the result of which is to blow the compensation budget on largely non-essential posts.”

The SIU also found a high number of cases of conflict of interests within Public Works.

The Department says it hopes to recover R1.2 billion through litigation, and undoing many signed contracts and prosecuting those who are involved.

Nxesi says, “I remain optimistic – mainly because of the new political climate, the leadership of President Ramaphosa which is committed to fight fraud and corruption and dealing with state capture – and I repeat, this fight is not a single event, it’s a process that requires meticulous  investigations by the SIU.”

Nxesi has also instituted lifestyle audits for all the management at public works.