Social Development needs to do more to combat corruption in its midst

The case before the Grahamstown High Court where allegations against former Social Development Head of Department, Stanley Khanyile, have emerged, is a clear indication that corruption, inefficiency, nepotism and cronyism within the Department of Social Development requires much more attention from the new MEC Phumza Dyantyi.

These revelations come just weeks after the Department revealed irregular expenditure totalling R179,6 million in their 2017/2018 annual report.

Khanyile is accused of syphoning off close on R30-million in rigged tenders to a Durban based company, Umnotho Training and Development consultants.

Money from the National Development Agency, that was earmarked for training young women, was instead, apparently diverted to purchase fancy cars, properties, Bitcoins and Kruger Rands.

The Democratic Alliance believes that an individual is innocent until proven guilty, and we are thankful that this matter is now before the court, that these allegations of corruption can be tested.

Based on the affidavit of Nicole Peters, the deputy director of public prosecutions attached to the East London office of the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU), it appears that there were significant gaps within the Department’s governance of procurement processes.

The Democratic Alliance has, on numerous occasions, raised our concerns in the portfolio committee over various allegations of corruption in the Department, and have requested comprehensive reports on specific financial irregularities and fraudulent activities.

I have specifically asked for updates regarding the progress of forensic investigations that was conducted by the special investigation unit, but this has not been forthcoming.

I have written to MEC Dyantyi and asked her to explain how she is going to ensure that the Department’s procurement processes will be improved, to prevent further abuse of the system.

The MEC must guard that the Department is not becoming the breeding ground for systematic corruption.

Under a DA government, money meant for the people will be spent on the people. The DA has a solid record of fighting corruption and of being accountable, transparent and clean where it governs, and we will ensure that those same systems are implemented.

We are the only party that can bring change which builds One South Africa for All by stopping corruption.