Gauteng Infrastructure department wastes more than R300 million

Alan Fuchs MPL

DA Shadow MEC for Infrastructure Development

Gauteng’s Department of Infrastructure Development (DID) has lost more than R300 million in fruitless, wasteful and irregular expenditure from April 2011 to March 2014.

This is according to a response from the department to questions posed by the Democratic Alliance (DA).

According to this reply the department incurred R17.2 million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure and R293.4 million in irregular expenditure.

This includes over R4 million on interest paid on overdue accounts, R13 million on lease payments made without buildings being occupied, R46.35 million on an irregular lease agreements entered into on behalf of the Department of Sport, Recreation and Culture (DSRAC), and R33.5 million on transactions entered irregularly by officials.

Of all of these, only the matter of the irregular lease for DSRAC was investigated, and the action taken was to fire the responsible official.

This revelation follows another response by the department which indicated that internal disciplinary processes within the department take much too long to conclude. Six cases took from two to three years to complete and 15 cases were concluded in a period of one to two years.

As a result, of a total of 65 disciplinary actions, 6 officials were dismissed and 23 received final written warnings. What is even more disturbing is that there are 19 cases that are still open; some since August 2012.

Management of this department has abdicated its responsibility and has escaped robust oversight.

I will be submitting further questions to the MEC to establish what plans are going to be put into place to ensure public funds are not wasted in such a manner in the coming financial year. The MEC must also indicate a strategy to expedite any pending and future disciplinary cases in the department.