SIU Head Andy Mothibi
Image sourced via Twitter @GovernmentZA

SIU to ‘dive deeper’ into R430m spent on sanitizing schools

The SIU’s Andy Mothibi told Scopa the probe into the Gauteng Education Department’s decontamination contracts would be concluded by August


SIU Head Andy Mothibi
Image sourced via Twitter @GovernmentZA

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has said it still needs to look further into determining who should be held accountable in the Gauteng Education Department’s whopping R430 million which was spent on decontaminating schools in the province.

The SIU’s head Andy Mothibi appeared before the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on Wednesday, 2 June 2021.

Mothibi said an investigation was still underway and would only be concluded by the end of August.

“The investigation has to look at all the procurement processes but at this stage we can report that the supply chain management process has been concluded to make a finding that the procurement process has been irregular,” he said.

“Of course, we need to dive deep to determine accountability so that we can make appropriate referrals for consequence management. This includes continuing with interviews of all officials, including the executive authority”

SIU head Andy Mothibi

About 280 service providers were paid to decontaminate, deep clean and sanitise schools, district offices and teacher centres in 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic and as learners were returning to the classroom to resume their academic activities.

SIU probe into Gauteng Education still underway

Andy Mothibi said he had actually wanted the SIU to fast track the probe and finalise the Gauteng Education Department’s decontamination contracts by the end of June.

“But I urged them to fast track so that we can bring out some of the findings by the end of June. Just like with the national Department of Health, we lined up interviews including with the executive authority so that we come to credible conclusions based on evidence that we would have collected from all witnesses including that of the executive authority,” Mothibi said.

When the scandal broke out, MEC Panyaza Lesufi was blamed for lack of oversight and said he would have the matter investigated.

The revelation of the exorbitant bill was contained in a report by Gauteng Education’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Head of Department (HOD).

“The amount was paid to about 280 companies between June and end of August and the extent of the school’s elemental spaces differed from facility to facility. The average school in Gauteng caters for 1,000 learners with a profile of 28 classrooms, administration building and specialist rooms,” read the report.