The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) have released a report on their progress into personal protective equipment (PPE) probes over the past year, outlining some of the key facts and figures associated with the alleged corruption valued at around 14.2 billion.
The SIU said on Wednesday 2 June that they are investigating 4117 PPE contracts valued at just over R14.2 billion awarded to 2 251 service providers, with 40% of their investigations finalised.
The SIU report, delivered to the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) on Wednesday, indicates that a total of 352 irregularities were identified in 1071 contracts that were awarded by State institutions. The value of these contracts amounts to around R5.7 billion.
In each province, the following finalised investigations have been confirmed:
KZN is the standout province, with the most irregular contracts valued at the highest overall value identified. Investigations into 2 695 contracts remain ongoing.
Briefing SCOPA on Wednesday, SIU head advocate Andy Mothibi said that they will require R386 million on investigations, with Mothibi adding that “fighting corruption is a costly exercise”.
“The initial estimates were provided based on projections by the SIU teams and, as the investigations progressed, the actual costs have become less than what was projected,” Mothibi said.
Mothibi said that those who had been found to have engaged in irregular contrast procurement will be dealt with appropriately, and was confident that the money that was siphoned off can be recovered. He said that the SIU has already referred over 100 cases related to PPE corruption to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for possible prosecution.
“Over and above the civil litigation process that we take to recover the monies from [service providers] while we refer them for criminal prosecution, we will also want to make sure that they are blacklisted,” he said. “The word blacklist relates to an administrative action that is taken to ensure that these service providers are restrained from doing business with [the] government [again],” the SIU head said.