There is a significant amount of money being siphoned off government’s procurement budget every year. Astonishing amounts of more than R25 billion, or 20 percent of that budget, were cited as being stolen, overpaid or improperly monitored by former Special Investigating Unit head Willie Hofmeyr last year.
And there’s more. Probably much more.
We can only imagine the frustration of the Public Service Commission (PSC), which manages government’s national anti-corruption hotline. The hotline has managed to recover a mere R110 million – a paltry sum compared to what has been lost.
The reasons for that lack of success have plenty to do with some of the reasons why money was mismanaged in the first place: incompetence and a lack of skills. It’s an enormous concern that there is simply not enough knowledge to go around government to deal with the complexity of most cases of corruption.
And with whistleblowers still willing to tell the truth, despite earlier threats against their security in the Protection of State Information Bill, it’s vital acts of courage are met with proper investigations. This is clearly not always happening.
We demand what the PSC demands: audits, feedback, oversight. Public confidence in the use of public funds must surely be at an all-time low.