The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has questioned the value for money of 10 Department of Water and Sanitation projects that were undertaken, but not budgeted for. Some of these projects have over-run and the department has overspent on some and extended others.
Scopa questioned the unauthorised expenditure of these unplanned projects as identified by the Auditor-General, namely the Giyani project, the Mopani project, Northern Nsikazi, emergency intervention on the Vaal, budget eradication programme, War on Leaks, Limpopo GLeWAP phase Tzaneen dam, Mzimvubu Water Projects, raising of the Clanwilliam Dam and the Greater Mbizana Lower Thukela Taung/Naledi. Scopa has requested for the concept papers of all these projects to obtain more information.
Scopa has requested the department to provide a breakdown of how the money was shifted from the Water Trading Entity (WTE) to the War on Leaks programme and how much was moved during the 2015/16 to 2017/18 financial years. It has become apparent that the shifting of funds for unfunded projects has had a detrimental effect on the WTE. Scopa also requested a breakdown of the R3 billion that was spent on the War on Leaks programme, as well as the status of all the learners that were funded through this project.
Scopa has also requested a detailed report on how the R454 million overdraft that was granted to the department by the Reserve Bank, which increased sharply to R3 billion in the 2016/17 financial year and then decreased to R1.4 billion. Scopa has also requested the minutes of the management meeting where the request and granting of the R454 million overdraft was announced.
Scopa also wants the payment breakdown of the R124,6 million spent on the planning of the Umzimvubu Water Project, since the construction of the dam has not even started. The committee wants the details of the companies and names of all those involved, as well as how much they were paid.
Scopa has also requested the Department of Water and Sanitation's organogram and bank statements, as of 30 November 2018, so that Scopa can be aware of the extent of the departments bankruptcy.
Scopa has scheduled three more hearings with the department next week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, 4 to 6 December 2018.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.