Water dept dissolves committee meant to probe irregular expenditure

The department has also been a hotbed for corruption and fraudulent activity, which has hampered the smooth delivery of the critical resource, which is guaranteed to citizens in the Constitution.

FILE: The advisory committee members were given 30 days to wind up their work and submit a report to the department, although their mandate has not yet been fully realised. Picture: Supplied.

JOHANNESBURG - Eyewitness News on Thursday learnt that the Department of Water and Sanitation has dissolved the disciplinary advisory committee mandated to get to the bottom of the rot that has seen billions of rands in irregular expenditure registered over the years.

The department has also been a hotbed for corruption and fraudulent activity, which has hampered the smooth delivery of the critical resource, which is guaranteed to citizens in the Constitution.

Eyewitness News has seen the contents of the letters that were dispatched to members of the advisory committee who have been on the job since 30 July 2020 when Lindiwe Sisulu was minister.

The reason listed in there for the dissolution of the structure is that their contracts were linked to Sisulu’s term, which ended on 5 August when she was moved to the Department of Tourism by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his first Cabinet reshuffle.

The advisory committee members were given 30 days to wind up their work and submit a report to the department although their mandate has not yet been fully realised.

Sisulu had appointed former Minister Susan Shabangu to head of the team directed to identify wrongdoers in the department to root out corruption and hold implicated officials accountable.

Eyewitness News has seen documents indicating that the committee had prepared cases of senior department officials that were ready to be finalised through disciplinary hearings.

In 2020/2021 when Sisulu appointed the committee, the department had incurred irregular expenditure amounting to R9.8 billion - R2 million more than the previous year.

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