SIU must be ruthless with water board investigations

Corruption in drought relief funds is a crime against humanity and should be rigorously prosecuted

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15/08/2022 09:37:09

.Graphic: OUTA

SIU must be ruthless with water board investigations

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) encourages the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to be ruthless in its investigations into the water boards. President Ramaphosa signed the proclamations last week to investigate allegations of serious maladministration in Lepelle Northern Water Board in Limpopo and Amatola Water Board in the Eastern Cape.

The SIU investigation will include the procurement of, or contracting for, drought relief services and technologies by or on behalf of the water boards and payments made in a manner that was not fair, competitive, transparent, equitable or cost-effective.

“It is sickening to see how the corrupt prey on innocent people when they are most vulnerable and in need. Depriving people from access to water or drought relief must be deemed a crime against humanity and the state,” says Julius Kleynhans, Executive Manager for Social Innovation at OUTA. “We trust that the SIU will be bold enough to take each one of them to task, politicians included, and squeeze every cent out of them, following with prosecutions by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to put these corrupt people in jail.”

Thousands of people in Giyani are still without basic water, this after more than R3 billion was spent to provide more than 55 villages with water in a Lepelle Water Board Project that was supposed to deliver water in 2017.

OUTA has shared a lot of information on corruption within the Department of Water and Sanitation with the SIU over the years and will continue to do so until those responsible for the looting and destruction in the department are held accountable.

“We call on the public to support the SIU and provide its investigators, or OUTA, with real evidence that can add value to the SIU’s pursuit of holding the corrupt accountable within the scope of this investigation,” says Kleynhans.

The probe will seek to establish whether there was any improper or unlawful conduct by board members, officials or employees of the water boards, or officials or employees of the Ministry of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, to corruptly or unduly benefit themselves or others, or resulting in unauthorised, irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure.

Lepelle Northern Water has previously been investigated by the SIU.

Fraud and corruption allegations may be reported to the SIU on or on 0800 037 774. Whistleblowers may also provide OUTA with information by visiting our secure whistleblower platform at

Where criminal conduct is uncovered during investigations, the SIU will bring the matter to the attention of its partners the Hawks in the South African Police Service and the NPA. 

More information

Comment by Julius Kleynhans is here in English and in Afrikaans.

The proclamation for the investigations is here.

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