Minister of Public Works Thulas Nxesi said he wants life style audit done in all management at public works including himself to root out corruption. Picture: ANA Reporter

Pretoria - Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi on Thursday announced that he requested a lifestyle audit starting with himself and all management of the department after internal investigations revealed 16 000 suspicious transactions to the value of R2 billion.

Nxesi was speaking in Pretoria on Thursday accompanied by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) in a joint media briefing on fraud and corruption in the department.

Nxesi said after announcing investigations in Public Works, allegations were made that he was siphoning off millions of rands.

He said these were just dirty tricks by criminal syndicates in the department.

"The only way to respond to the fight-back by the state capture forces is to intensify the struggle against corruption in state capture," he said.

Public Works acting director general Imtiaz Fazel revealed that over 250 cases of corruption have been heard in the department, and 193 of them have resulted in suspension, written warnings, and dismissals.

Head of the SIU, Andy Mothibi released findings into investigations of procurement processes of leases by the department.

The findings of the SIU revealed that landlords leasing buildings to the department have been over charging as well as over stating the space that is rented.

He said an acknowledgement of debt found was over R500 000 that the landlords must pay back to the department.

A further 81 matters have been referred back to the department amounting to over R230 million owed to the department for over-payments. He said they were in a process of recovering the money.

They also found procurement irregularities in terms of the leases. He said many landlords submitted false clearance certificates in order to procure leases or continue leases. 

Mothibi said in another investigation it was found that 2496 employees at public works were found to be in conflict of interest as they were doing business with government.

He added that the SIU also found that some of the buildings leased to the department do not comply with the occupational health and safety standards.

African News Agency (ANA)