Two Cogta officials axed for corruption
Johannesburg - The Gauteng department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has parted ways with two senior officials in the Human Settlements portfolio.
According to the department's MEC, Lebogang Maile, both the Deputy Director General and Director have been shown the exit door for corruption.
Maile conceded that the department has been “highly affected” by corruption and that they are making good progress in fighting this corruption.
“We found a department that had received a disclaimer with adverse findings. We are happy with the progress we are making and that’s because we are getting a qualified audit opinion,” he said.
Maile would not reveal the identity of the duo but revealed that one of the directors opted to challenge his immediate dismissals through the CCMA.
“When we fired the director it’s one instance where we showed decisiveness in government, no hearing, we give you a warning and you explain why you must not be fired because you deserve to be fired.”
“You go to the CCMA and you won’t win because of what you would have done, this person would have cost us about R600 million so how do we keep such a person in the system.”
Maile confidently stated that there still more to be fired and that as government they are the first ones to admit when there is rot and corruption.
The department’s ethics management section also indicated that two other employees were found by the auditor general to have conducted business with the state and that they were under investigation.
The Star understands that the department’s major corruption battle is linked with the allocation and selling of RDP houses which dates back to 1996, leaving the department with a backlog of beneficiaries still on the waiting list.
Maile said there are over 200 000 people who registered in 1996 and still on the waiting list.
“This requires us to be very combative, aggressive, systematic and consistent. We are dealing with corruption that is not only in the department but also from the outside.”
The department has since implemented a turnaround strategy to improve performance and focus on programme delivery.
The turnaround strategy has also been implemented to address historical issues of poor contract management, underperformance, underspending and poor controls in finance for invoicing.
This strategy is to be monitored through monthly management meetings to ensure that the department implements its core mandate efficiently.
The provincial legislature’s portfolio committee on Cogta and Human Settlements recently raised their concerns with the ongoing allocation of government houses in Clayville and Tembisa.
The committee’s unannounced visit to these housing projects resulted in findings of alleged corruption, where RDP houses are said to be priced at R60 000.
The committee said for fair and credible outcomes, the matter will not be investigated by the department’s Anti-Fraud & Corruption Unit but the premier's office.
“The department has since referred the matter to the provincial forensic audit service in the office of the premier and will timeously update.”
The committee’s spokesperson Pfano Bulasigobo recently told the publication that investigations in the premier's office are still ongoing.