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Nxesi: State audit reveals suspected fraud

The public works minister said R5 million a month was spent on 108 vacant properties.

FILE: Minister of Public Works Thulasi Nxesi. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - An audit of state lease agreements on Wednesday highlighted incidents of suspected fraud and collusion.

The audit includes over R5 million in monthly spending per month on 108 properties that were not even occupied by the Department of Public Works.

Minister Thulas Nxesi highlighted some of the cases ahead of his budget speech in Parliament on Wednesday.

The public works minister said an audit was carried out on more than 2,000 properties the state was leasing from the private sector.

The audit found that in some cases, rent was being paid for vacant buildings.

Nxesi says that 12 properties were occupied by non-government tenants.

The department is also in the process of trying to locate missing lease agreements.

The audits have been referred to the Special Investigating Unit.

Nxesi said the department stopped the payments to the vacant buildings.

Officials will approach the courts to recover lost funds.