Scopa/SIU MoU flags Eskom intelligence, National Skills Fund reports for investigation in seventh administration

6th March 2024

By: Sashnee Moodley

Senior Deputy Editor Polity and Multimedia


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The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) have assured that the Eskom intelligence report and the National Skills Fund matters will be flagged for consideration in the seventh administration, following the dissolution of the sixth Parliament in May.

The SIU and Scopa signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), on Wednesday, to strengthen its cooperation in investigating and reporting matters relating to public funds.

“More importantly, however, the signing of the MoU assists in the formal referral of certain pressing matters from Scopa to the SIU, as the SIU does not identify specific matters to investigate. Matters referred by Scopa to the SIU for investigation or for the motivation for a proclamation include the Eskom intelligence report and the National Skills Fund [matters]. Scopa believes that the SIU will continue to prioritise these matters, even after the dissolution of the sixth Parliament. In fact, the SIU will ensure that in its handover report to Scopa in the seventh Parliament, these matters are flagged for consideration,” both entities said in a statement.

Former Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter had commissioned a controversial investigation into corruption at the power utility, the report from which alleged widespread corruption involving politicians and criminal networks.

Meanwhile, a 2019/20 audit of the National Skills Fund revealed that R5-billion could not be accounted for by the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation. A forensic investigation into the matter revealed that service providers had failed to deliver on services they were paid for.

The SIU has been updating Scopa on high levels of corruption at State institutions and delays on prosecutions, that have left the State unable to recover monies owed to it.

The SIU has also briefed Scopa on State capture cases and noted that there is a lack of consequence management in State institutions, which came as referrals from the SIU.

“Scopa intervened by requesting the Presidency to devise a mechanism to ensure that all SIU referrals are implemented. This led to the Presidency establishing a monitoring and tracking tool that ensures every referral from the SIU is implemented for disciplinary action intervention. This has resulted in Eskom and Transnet restricting suppliers implicated in SIU investigations on their own suppliers’ databases,” the entities said.

They note that the MoU will enhance collaboration to prevent and monitor matters relating to the wasteful expenditure of public funds.

“Both parties acknowledge the importance of consultation, mutual support and cooperation on aspects such as disclosure of information, reporting and mutual cooperation and assistance to ensure effective financial oversight and accountability of State institutions, thereby combatting maladministration, malpractice and corruption of State resources, money and assets,” they said.

Edited by David Shepherd
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