Scopa to take steps to ensure full parliamentary inquiry into alleged irregularities in water and sanitation department
Parliament's watchdog standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) will take steps to ensure that a full parliamentary inquiry into the numerous allegations of irregularities in the water and sanitation department takes place as soon as possible.
On Friday, Scopa was briefed by the office of the auditor general on the 2018/19 audit outcomes of the department and its entities, committee chairman Mkhuleko Hlengwa said in a statement.
"Towards the end of its term, the fifth parliament undertook to conduct a full parliamentary inquiry into the department. Scopa believes this process should resume to give clarity on how the department ended up where it is financially," he said.
It was important that the full extent of the financial mismanagement at the department and its entities be known. This was why Scopa believed the inquiry should begin from as far back as 2014. The committee would proceed with the necessary processes in its efforts to ensure that the full inquiry into the department took place as soon as conditions allowed.
"Another matter that should be carefully probed is the war on leaks project, which has cost the department R2.97 billion. Scopa has been informed by the auditor general that supply chain management processes were not followed in the establishment of this project. There was no budget allocation for it, but the department ended up paying this exorbitant amount for the project."
The committee had been informed that the people trained in the war on leaks project would now be "expected to guard water tanks" during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Scopa believed the people capacitated with those skills could be better used in working with municipalities in their communities, rather than guarding water tanks, Hlengwa said.