The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has been authorised to investigate allegations of corruption and maladministration at the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Transport.
The investigation will focus on an R85 million tender, awarded to ISF Construction and Shula Construction in 2018, to construct an eight-kilometre concrete barrier wall between the uMkanyakude and Mozambique border.
“The SIU received allegations from an unnamed whistleblower, claiming that the transport department has executed the project of constructing a concrete barrier, despite the legal mandate of such project resting with the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure,” SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said.
The public works department is the custodian of border infrastructure outlay and maintenance.
An October 2020 report found that only 166 metres of construction had been completed even though R48 million was paid to the contractor.
The amount should have covered the cost of installing three kilometres of border wall, Kganyago said.
“The SIU investigation is aimed at determining whether the procurement and payments made in relation to the construction of the barrier were done in a manner that was fair, competitive, transparent, equitable or cost-effective; or contrary to applicable legislation, guidelines issued by the National Treasury or the relevant provincial treasury,” Kganyago added.
“The SIU will also look at whether there was any related unauthorised, irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by the institutions or financial losses suffered by the institutions or the government.”
In addition, the SIU will investigate any irregular, improper or unlawful conduct by contractors and suppliers, along with transactions between 13 July 2016 and 7 May 2021.