The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on Tuesday declared that in fighting corruption and instituting consequence management systems, it was imperative that the vetting of State officials be prioritised.
Scopa chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa explained that the lack of enforcement of vetting outcomes sometimes had dire consequences.
He added that Scopa was deeply concerned with the lack of enforcement of the law in the vetting of officials of government and State-owned enterprises (SOEs), adding that of the 121 employees at power utility Eskom, only 21 have complied with the vetting process.
“This is a State-owned entity that is plagued with problems, particularly in the area of supply chain management (SCM),” he said.
He maintained that of the applications before the State Security Agency (SSA) for vetting in the SCM sector, only 48% have been completed.
Hlengwa referred to a 2014 Cabinet Resolution that required all SCM officials to be vetted, but there are still government departments and SOEs that refuse to have their employees vetted, he said.
“This refusal leaves the State vulnerable to crime, fraud and mismanagement of State funds,” he declared.
Meanwhile, the committee heard on Tuesday that despite the SSA passing on information to the South African Post Office (SAPO) about the criminal record of one of its employees, the SAPO decided to retain him in their employment.
The now former employee is the accused in the rape and murder of University of Cape Town student Uyinene Mrwetyana.
Post Office board spokesperson Charles Nwaila confirmed the man was not screened when he was appointed, first as a part-time employee, through a labour broker, and then as a full-time employee.
Hlengwa explained that the committee would monitor the measures taken to deal with SSA’s backlog in vetting through its quarterly reports, as the SSA expected to have completed the process by September 2020.