A report from the Auditor General on the Department of Public Works’ Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) has revealed that the program is riddled with poor administration and corruption that has seen payments being made to ghost workers, individuals without identity documents and a poor paper trail on payments made.
“The DA will write to the Minister of Public Works, Thulasi Nxesi, requesting that he launches a full-scale investigation in the EPWP programme to expose individuals who have been ‘cooking the books’ to line up their pockets to the detriment of millions of South Africans sitting at home without work,”said Malcolm Figg, the DA Shadow Minister of Public Works.
The audit report revealed that:
• reported beneficiaries in EPWP programmes were in some cases deceased.
• identity documents of some beneficiaries were found to be invalid.
• work opportunities at EPWP projects were not always supported by reliable supporting evidence, such as identity documents, attendance registers and proof of payments.
• some beneficiaries were included on multiple projects when they worked on only one project.
• beneficiaries not listed on the beneficiary list of the project.
“This is clear evidence of gross manipulation of the EPWP to corruptly benefit DPW employees charged with administering the programme or entities working in partnership with the Department, added Figg.
“Worse still, the Department has missed its target of employing more job seekers by more than 375 000 based on the combined Quarter 1-3 of Financial Year 2017/18 target of 1.8 Million job opportunities.
Minister Nxesi must take urgent steps to ensure that investigation into this corruption is concluded urgently and the implicated individuals brought to book,” concluded Figg.