The DA will write to the Chairperson for the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation, Lulu Johnson, to request that former Water and Sanitation Minister, Nomvula Mokonyane and current Minister, Gugile Nkwiti, be summoned to appear before parliament to answer for the Department of Water and Sanitation’s (DWS) irregular expenditure of over R6.4 billion found by the Office of the Auditor General.
It was during Mokonyane’s tenure that the Department reported this astounding amount of irregular expenditure and the AG noted the dramatic spike in irregular spending from 2014 when Mokonyane took over the reins.
Mokonyane has much to account for and must do so at the joint meeting between DWS, the Office of the Auditor-General and National Treasury next week, on 16 May 2018.
The DA will also request that the Minister of Finance, Nhlanhla Nene, also be present at the meeting.
Nkwinti as the current Minister must also detail how he will ensure this reckless spending does not continue.
The DA welcomes the move to launch a full-scale inquiry into the extent of irregular, wasteful and fruitless spending by the DWS.
Even more alarming is that this figure could grow as the inquiry is yet to establish the full picture of the department’s financial mess. The irregular expenditure found thus far is only what has been uncovered by the AG through its limited analysis.
Mokonyane must be held accountable for misleading the public as she previously only disclosed R4 billion in irregular expenditure, not the R6.4 billion now identified.
The most compelling reasons for Mokonyane to be held accountable include:
- Five projects that have not been budgeted for;
- An overdraft of R 2 billion is owed to South African Reserve Bank;
- Unbudgeted amount of R 2,5 billion to the Trans Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA);
- A staggering amount of R848 million is owed to municipalities and water boards; and
- The so-called war on leaks programme, costing R524 million was included under the service programmes and not budgeted for.
The department is besieged with a number of issues including supply chain management and internal controls and frankly, any recommendations are futile if there’s no political will to investigate and rectify the wrongs in the department.
This is an indictment on the entire ANC government and President Cyril Ramaphosa who has simply shifted a haplessly inept Mokonyane to another portfolio, instead of firing her for bringing the department into financial ruin.
Mokonyane definitely has a case to answer for, for failing millions of people struggling without water, due to poor infrastructure, possible corruption and the gross mismanagement of this critical department.
Leon Basson MP is DA Shadow Minister of Water and Sanitation