The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is investigating 558 procurement contracts involving R1.9 billion, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Zweli Mkhize said yesterday.

“The SIU is also investigating 360 cases of conflict of interest where R3.4 billion was involved,” Mkhize told an integrity leadership conference in Durban.

Delegates were expected to craft plans to deal with fraud and corruption in the public sector in KwaZulu-Natal.

Mkhize said the province’s Integrity Management Unit, which provided strategic leadership for the provincial government on fraud and corruption, was behind arrests for corruption.

“As we speak, the total number of public servants who are facing fraud and corruption charges in the province is 1 024.”

Mkhize said 755 cases had been reported for prosecution and other cases were at various disciplinary stages.

It had become clear that corruption had long-term negative effects on the efficiency of public investment.

“All corrupt officials and syndicates tend to give priority to projects and activities that generate higher private material and political gains,” Mkhize said.

Projects with high socio-economic returns were not given priority. –

Sapa