The Auditor-General’s Audit Report for 2011/12 released yesterday revealed that contracts to the value of R141 million identified at 42 auditees were awarded to suppliers in which close family members of employees of the entities had an interest.
This is an increase from R136 million in 2010/11.
This follows the report by the Public Service Commission in 2010 which estimated that R624 million of state money went to companies with links to civil servants, their families or members of their spouses’ families.
Immediate action is needed to end this pillaging of state coffers. The Minister of Public Service and Administration, Lindiwe Sisulu’s should support the DA’s Private Members Legislation which aims to regulate the business interests of state employees.
This proposed bill submitted in Parliament last month seeks to:
- Prohibit government employees and their families from doing directly or indirectly holding more than 5% of shares, stock, membership or other interests in an entity that does business with government, unless approval is given by the relevant Minister in accordance with certain criteria set out in the bill;
- Ensure that, before the government enters into any contract with an entity for the sale, lease or supply of goods and services, the entity must provide an affidavit disclosing whether or not it is owned or part-owned by employees of the government; and
- Require that all government employees disclose their business interests at prescribed intervals, in the same way that members of cabinet already do.
South Africans cannot wait any longer for broken promises by government to end cronyism, nepotism and corruption in government to finally be corrected. It is time for Minister Sisulu to walk the talk.