Committee for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) concerned about delays in finalizing local government files

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The Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) was briefed today by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the Crimes Investigation Directorate priorities (the Hawks) on corruption and Covid-19 related cases in local government.

Following the March 3, 2020 briefing on forensic investigations in the municipalities of the Hawks, NPA, SIU and Department of Cooperative Governance, the committee decided to convene quarterly meetings with the forces of the order to deliberate on the progress of general inquiries in local government. . This was prompted by the observation of undue delays in the finalization of corruption cases.

The committee noted that at the local government level, the impact of corruption on service delivery is quite serious. The committee also noted that poor follow-up to these cases has largely contributed to the delays in their finalization. Therefore, convening quarterly meetings to monitor progress is a mechanism to ensure accountability for delays.

The committee’s interaction with the SIU today revealed a gap in current power, as the SIU is unable to ensure that its reports are acted upon by organs of the State concerned. A good example of this is city councils that have reviewed SIU reports for years with no repercussions. The committee believes the SIU should consider pushing for changes to the SIU Act to give it the power to compel institutions to review and respond to its reports within specified timeframes. and reasonable.

The committee is unhappy with the generic overview of corruption cases it received from the Hawks, which leaves the committee in the dark about progress in the cases the Hawks previously reported it was investigating. The committee asked the Hawks to provide a detailed report on the corruption cases, without compromising them, including figures quantifying their cumulative monetary value. This will help the committee understand the financial impact of this corruption on the tax authorities and determine whether the value of restraining, preservation, forfeiture and forfeiture orders and recoveries are commensurate with the amounts lost.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.

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