Parliamentary Question: Presidency: Crime

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THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION (DA) TO ASK THE MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: PERFORMANCE MONITORING AND EVALUATION AS WELL AS ADMINISTRATION:
(a) Why, in light of the fact that the fight against crime and corruption is one of the Government’s twelve priority outcomes, has the strategic report by the anti-corruption inter-ministerial committee that was established in November 2009, not been made public and (b) when will it be released?

REPLY:

Yes, the ANC government has prioritised the fight against crime and corruption. The ANC government has also identified corruption as a key threat to achieving government objectives; hence our intense focus on it.

The President has shown commitment and leadership since coming into office and he has demonstrated his commitment practically. With the support of Cabinet, he established a number of structures to effectively deal with this problem. The Inter-Ministerial Committee and the Anti-Corruption Task Team are among a few. These structures are supported by the law enforcement agencies such as the Hawks, SIU, Assert Forfeiture Unit and National Prosecuting Authority. They are also working with key departments such as National Treasury, Justice and Constitutional Development including the Police.

As the President said during his address to Media Owners earlier this month, in the last financial year he issued 18 Proclamations authorising the Special Investigating Unit to conduct investigations, the highest ever in the history of the SIU.

In total, the SIU is currently investigating procurement contracts to the value of about 10 billion rand and conflict of interest involving officials estimated at five billion rand.

The SIU is also working closely with the police department to investigate procurement irregularities in the building of 33 police stations, worth approximately 330 million rand.

Investigations are also underway in the National Departments of Rural Development and Land Reform, Public Works, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipalities including the Western Cape.

In KwaZulu-Natal, the Anti-Corruption Task Team, including the SIU, the Hawks, the National Prosecuting Authority and the Asset Forfeiture Unit have identified land reform farms valued at more than R60 million that have been transferred unlawfully to private individuals. Farms valued at about R36 million have already been recovered for the state.

The Anti-Corruption Task team has also been working with the Department of Co-operative Governance to probe municipalities under the banner of project Operation Clean Audit. 

A total of 362 cases were received for investigation. To date, 291 arrests have been made.  167 are public servants while 124 are members of the public and all have appeared in court. This effort has achieved 155 convictions, made up of 77 public servants and 78 members of the public. We are indeed making progress.

With regard to the Inter-Ministerial Committee, the work of the committee is to coordinate government efforts in this regard. The committee is also meant to ensure that all law enforcement agencies and departments are working together and doing work in a cooperative manner to rid our nation of this scourge.

Let me put this clear, this is a Cabinet coordinating structure and it reports to Cabinet. All structures of government and agencies account for their activities through annual reports and other existing parliamentary processes. The responsibility of this Committee is to ensure that all these structures are functioning properly and are able to do their work without any problems.

Through this structure, we were able to guide law enforcement agencies and departments to prioritise specific areas which we believe will lead us to success. They are Supply Chain Management at all levels of government, Mining licences, Identity Theft, Social Grants and Cyber Crime.

Corruption is a scourge which is threatening our efforts to lead our country to prosperity. It is a cancer that this government will not rest until it has removed it from our society.

We are making steady progress as a country and we call on the nation to hold hands and deal with this problem. We also take this opportunity to ask everyone in our country who has any information that can assist in this effort to report any information to relevant law enforcement agencies.

End