The DA has called on the Asset Forfeiture Unit to up its game after a report presented by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta), revealed that the total cost of local government fraud and corruption cases currently under investigation amounts to more than R 1.4 billion.
Cogta has also confirmed that this figure only relates to cases of fraud and corruption which have been reported to the department. This means that the South African municipalities have probably been syphoned of many more billions without anyone sounding the alarm.
In a separate report presented by the Special Investigative Unit (SIU), it was revealed that of the 32 corruption investigations which they have concluded since 2002, there have only been 13 convictions secured and R55 million has been recovered.
While the DA welcomes the action that has been taken thus far, 13 convictions and R55 million in recovered assets in 18 years are but a drop in the ocean compared to the more than R1.4 billion that has been looted.
Corruption in local government is clearly a scourge that must be wiped out if we want to stand any chance of stabilising and improving services to all South Africans.