Cabinet commends DWS fight against corruption

Cabinet has commended the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) for the strides it has made in the fight against corruption.

This comes after the department recovered R600 million from the companies who benefitted from receiving irregular tenders.

“Cabinet also noted the preventative control measures put in place by the department to eliminate irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure,” Cabinet said in a statement on Thursday.

During the department’s 2023 Budget Vote last week, Water and Sanitation Minister Senzo Mchunu announced that during the last financial year the department focused on filling vacant top management positions, including the Accounting Officer and Chief Financial Officer, and has reinforced internal controls.

This had a resulted in a reduction of more than 80% in new irregular expenditure in the 2022/20223 financial year, compared to the 2018-2019 financial year.

He said the Accounting Officer was also closely monitoring the processing of all financial misconduct disciplinary cases and of the 86 financial misconduct cases reported during the last five years, 66 had been finalised and the remaining 20 are in process of being finalised.

Investment in water infrastructure

Cabinet further acknowledged the ongoing investment in water infrastructure to uplift the lives of South Africans, with the allocation of over R14 billion to municipalities to address water infrastructure backlogs.

The budget will be made through the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant (RBIG) and the Water Services Infrastructure Grant (WSIG).

For this financial year, the department has allocated R10.1 billion to municipalities through the RBIG and R4.6 billion to municipalities through WSIG.

“The RBIG will be spent on 130 different projects and the WSIG will be allocated to more than 400 projects across the country,” Cabinet said.

Lesotho water project

Meanwhile, Cabinet said the Lesotho Highlands Water Project is critical in ensuring security of water supply in Gauteng, the Free State, Mpumalanga, North West and Northern Cape.

President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the Lesotho Highlands Water Project on Tuesday, where he participated in the sod-turning ceremony of Phase 2 of the project.

“Signed a number of years back and having faced delays, the ceremony signified the pacing up of this critical binational initiative,” Cabinet said. –

Source: South African Government News Agency

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