MPs call for inquiry into ‘pure thieving’ in water and sanitation department

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MPs call for inquiry into ‘pure thieving’ in water and sanitation department

Babalo Ndenze | 2017-05-31 15:26:14.0

Minister Nomvula Mokonyane.

Minister Nomvula Mokonyane.

Image by: KEVIN SUTHERLAND / SUNDAY TIMES

Angry MPs have called for a parliamentary inquiry into the “pure thieving” taking place at the troubled department of water and sanitation.

The standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) met department officials on Wednesday where they voiced their displeasure at the “unprepared” department officials‚ led by director general Dan Mashitisho.

The department is currently sitting with an accumulative figure of R2.5 billion in irregular expenditure and R87.2 million in fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

The department on Wednesday presented a progress report on disciplinary action against more than 400 officials around the country.

Nyami Booi (ANC) said Mashitisho was supposed to have been prepared for the meeting.

“He must give us information. All of us seated here we are ready with out tight schedule and would have expected the DG who runs one department to have been ready‚” said Booi.

The DA’s Tim Brauteseth was equally unimpressed.

“I want to echo that chorus. The devil is in the detail. You can’t come to a Scopa hearing and be light on detail. We want detail. You are the accounting officer – you can go to jail for this. Please wake up DG and answer our questions‚” said Brauteseth.

He said out of the 482 disciplinary cases‚ not one resulted in a dismissal.

“I formally call for an ad hoc inquiry into the water and sanitation department. This needs to be addressed. It’s absolutely ridiculous‚” said Brauteseth.

Ntombovuyo Mente of the EFF said the long list of disciplinary cases in the department was nothing but “theft”.

“It’s pure‚ pure thieving. People are given written warnings and counselling when they have stolen money‚” said Mente.

Mashitisho said he brought a team which was more than capable of providing details to the committee.

“I believe that as a team we should be capable to deal with the matters. I take responsibility as the accounting officer now. I say let’s proceed‚” said Mashitisho.

Committee chairperson Themba Godi said they will call Minister of Water and Sanitation Nomvula Mokonyane within the next three weeks to account on the department’s financial situation.

Scopa also noted that the department is bankrupt as it owes contractors more money than it has.



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