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Corruption related to the fraudulent issuing of tenders is widespread in KwaZulu-Natal government departments.
Premier Zweli Mkhize made the shock admission at the provincial legislature on Tuesday while presenting the budget vote for the Office of the Premier for 2012/13.
Mkhize said fraud in departments’ supply chain and procurement sections posed a great risk to service, so the province was dedicating more resources to fighting corruption.
“Fighting corruption is about the restoration of the fibre of our society,” he said.
The premier confirmed that fraudulent tenders and contracts were being awarded to unskilled and undeserving entrepreneurs who advanced cash, rather than proof of competence, to secure contracts.
He presented consolidated statistics by the SAPS, the NPA and the Special Investigating Unit in the province between April 2011 and March 2012. These figures indicate that 594 cases of fraud have been reported to the police involving contracts worth more than R100 million. Five hundred and twenty-seven people have been arrested, while 192 employees have been referred for disciplinary hearings. Only R2.7m has been recovered.
The premier indicated that the Office of the Ombudsman in the premier’s office received 158 complaints ranging from concerns about service delivery, alleged corruption and maladministration. Of these cases, 46 had been resolved.
The ANC caucus yesterday welcomed what it described as a “bold” budget by the premier, which it said spoke to almost every need in the province and was conducive to service.
More than R594m has been allocated to the Office of the Premier, with about R149m going towards administration, including promoting co-operative governance and ensuring sound financial management support.
About R130 is being dedicated to institutional development which comprises human resources, legal services, information communications technology and communication services.
The premier indicated that about R315m had been allocated to policy and governance, which encompassed special programmes, the premier’s priority programmes and heritage.
Close to R74m was earmarked for programmes such as the Active Ageing Campaign, Rights of People with Disabilities and HIV/Aids campaigns.
Heritage gets more than R66m, which will go to co-ordinating the celebration of heritage events, the erection of monuments, memorials and walls of remembrance as well as the maintenance of those already in existence.
Progress has already been achieved in the designs of the Heroes Acre in Imbali township and the Isandlwana monuments.
Mkhize also presented the budget vote for the Royal Household, which amounts to more than R59m. About R20m of this would go towards the maintenance of the Royal Household infrastructure.