State organs owe the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) more than R11 million after the corruption-busting unit probed maladministration in the management of their affairs.
In an effort to recoup the monies owed for forensic investigation and litigation, the SIU has embarked on a project dubbed “Project Khokhela” to deal with the outstanding debt.
Responding to EFF MP Constance Nonhlanhla Mkhonto, Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola said the total amount owed to the SIU was R11 744 481.
Lamola said R5 487 191 was in arrears for 30 days and R6 257 289 in arrears for more than 30 days.
“The SIU, in its normal day to day operations, sends out statements of accounts on monthly basis to different state institutions, indicating the amount owing at a particular period.
“Attached to the statement of accounts would normally be a progress report, indicating progress on the investigations and allowing the state institutions a preview of what activities took place during the period being reported on,” he said.
Lamola said SIU managers on the investigations on a regular basis are requested to follow up with the various state institutions on outstanding payments.
“Once a year, the Finance Department sends out letters to the state institutions requesting them to settle the outstanding debts.”
Independent Media previously reported in 2020 that the SIU recorded in its 2017-18 annual report that it was owed almost R400m.
The amount increased to R650 million as at December 2021.
Lamola said the SIU embarked on a more intense project dubbed “Project Khokhela” during the 2022-23 financial year to deal with the outstanding debt.
“During the year, various face to face engagements were held with some institutions and this process yielded positive results and payments were received from these institutions.”
Asked whether the SIU’s 2023-24 budget accommodated a possible increase in compensation of employees in view of the unprecedented high volume of work emanating from all three spheres of government, Lamola said the corruption-busting body has been proactive in ensuring that the needs from the various spheres of government are met.
“This is evident in the recent resourcing strategy indaba held to ensure that the influx of proclamations currently experienced can be accommodated,” he said.
Lamola said there were a total of 199 vacancies at the SIU and the posts would be filled by March 2024.