DA requests AG investigation into Minister Mokonyane’s broke department
12 February 2017
The DA will request that the Auditor-General (AG), Thembekile Makwetu, launches an independent investigation into the gross mismanagement of funds by Minister of Water and Sanitation, Nomvula Mokonyane, as reports today revealed that her Department is effectively bankrupt.
This is in accordance with Section 5 (1) (d) of the Public Audit Act which states that the AG can "carry out an appropriate investigation or special audit of any institution referred to in section 4(1) or (3), if the Auditor-General considers it to be in the public interest or upon the receipt of a complaint or request.”
The DA has also written to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Water and Sanitation, Mr Mlungisi Johnson, to request that he urgently summon Minister Nomvula Mokonyane, to appear before the Committee and provide a full testimony on the allegations.
Furthermore, senior officials from the Treasury and the Auditor-General should be called upon to appear before the committee during the same briefing to provide further testimony.
If the Minister either fails to appear before the Committee and/or the Committee is not convinced that the testimony provided can give a full assurance to the South African public that the Water and Sanitation Department is not in crisis, a strong recommendation should be made for the Minister’s immediate dismissal.
This morning a City Press article revealed grave allegations against the Department of Water and Sanitation. Specifically, the article reported that it was in possession of documentation indicating that the Department is R4.3 billion in debt and effectively broke.
The domino effect of this is a likely defaulting on payments to contractors, compromising major projects (such as the Giyana Emergency Project) and collapsing much-needed water and sanitation services to already desperate communities.
The Democratic Alliance has already instituted a number of pertinent action steps, including the formal request for Public Protector investigation by Leon Basson MP and the call for an investigation into Dudu Myeni in her capacity as Chairperson of the Mhlathuze Water Authority by Tarnia Baker, MP.
If the latest allegations are proven true, however, they could accelerate that the national crisis around the department to the point that it severely compromises the delivery of water and sanitation services to South Africans.
The fact that there is still no Water Master Plan for South Africa, and therefore no clear roadmap to take us out of the national water crisis we facing, would have been sufficient enough for severe censure of the Minister. However, this fact, taken together with all of the above, provides more than enough reason to call for the Minister’s resignation. Failure to take strong leadership in this critical area could continue to put countless South Africans at risk.
Statement issued by Dr Heinrich Volmink MP, DA Shadow Minister of Water and Sanitation, 12 February 2017