28 August 2019 - NW385
Steyn, Ms A to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural DevelopmentQUESTION
(1) What (a) number of investigations undertaken by her department are currently underway and (b) are the reasons for each specified investigation; (2) whether she will make the reports of each investigation public; if not, why not; if so, by what date? NW1357E
1(a) Cabinet invoked Section 100 (1) of the Constitution of South Africa on the Provincial Administration of the North West Province in May 2019. President Ramaphosa then established an Inter-Ministerial Task Team (IMTT), chaired by Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to address matters relating to the administration in North West. The IMTT was supported by the Technical Task Team (TTT) comprising of Directors-General (DGs). The TTT recommended that a forensic audit and investigation be conducted into the appointment and operations of Agridelight, which was an implementing agent for North West Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development (READ) projects.
The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) engaged the National Treasury (NT) in September 2018 to conduct a forensic audit on the indicators of possible fraud, financial irregularity, financial mismanagement and corruption relating to the appointment of Agridelight. This audit and investigation had to delve into subsequent operations and activities of projects funded through Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP) in READ. The National Treasury began with the forensic audit and investigation in November 2018.
To date, satisfactory progress has been made on this forensic audit and investigation. The DAFF Audit Committee was briefed on the progress made relating to the process. The National Treasury will conclude its work in due course.
(b) This is the only forensic audit and investigation that is currently being conducted by the DAFF and the reason are outlined above.
2. All matters related to this forensic audit and investigation will be dealt with in terms of decisions by Cabinet which invoked Section 100 (1) of the Constitution of South Africa relating to Provincial administration of the North West Province.
RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND LAND REFORM
(1) (a) There are 43 allegations scheduled for investigation on the rolling annual case management register. In addition, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) was authorised to conduct investigations in terms of the following Presidential Proclamations:
Proclamation No. R. 53 of 2012 for Restitution matters;
Proclamation No. R. 7 of 2014 for State Information Technology Agency;
Proclamation No. R. 599 of 2015, and amendment to Proclamation No. R. 7 of 2014, to include Deeds matters; and
Proclamation No. R.24 of 27 for land reform matters.
(b) The Department has a duty to investigate allegations of irregularities, including fraud, corruption, financial mismanagement, financial irregularities and mismanagement, amongst others. The allegations investigated were received from the Anti-Corruption Hotline managed by the Office of the Public Service Commission, management, whistle-blowers, officials of the department and members of the public. Alleged offences based on these reports include amongst others fraud, corruption, financial mismanagement and maladministration. The investigations conducted by the SIU are carried out in terms of Proclamations by the President as provided in the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act No 74 of 1996.
2. The investigation reports of the Department are confidential and are generally not shared with the public; however requests for access to the reports may be made in terms of the applicable law, namely the Promotion of Access to Information Act 2 of 2000.