04 June 2021 - NW398
van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Social Development
With regard to the R22 million blanket saga in KwaZulu-Natal that was exposed by a forensic investigation (details furnished), what (a) charges and/or any other punitive action has been brought against her department’s officials who have been implicated and (b) measures has she put in place to curb corruption within her department at national and provincial level?
(a) The reports recommended disciplinary action against all implicated Officials. Out of (12) twelve implicated Officials, 9 (nine) are on suspension with pay. (1) One Official resigned, one passed on.
Out of (9) nine implicated officials (1) one official could not be charged due to lack of evidence.
Eight (8) implicated officials were served with charges and appeared before the Presiding Officer. One case has been finalised, seven cases are under subjudicare.
(b) 1) The Department has and maintains an approved Policy on management of fraud, corruption and theft, which seeks to:
a) Establish the zero-tolerance stance of the Department against fraud, corruption and theft;
2) In addition to this policy, the Department maintains the Whistle-blowing policy which further seeks to:
a) Encourage and enable employees to disclose information relating to suspected or alleged criminal or other irregular conduct within the Department.
b) Provide avenues for employees to disclose information relating to suspected criminal activities and receive feedback on any action taken; and
c) Re-assure staff that they will be protected from reprisals or victimisation for whistle blowing in good faith.
3) The Department also maintains the Fraud Prevention Plan which outlines the three strategies which are:
b) Detection; and
4) Allegations that needs to be investigated are reported to Provincial Anti-corruption hotline and directly to the Department.
5) The Department constantly conduct anti-fraud and anti- corruption awareness campaigns to its employees and stakeholders such as funded NPOs
6) Where there is manifestation of allegations of fraudulent and corrupt activities within the Department and to funded NPOs, the Department sanction investigations to probe those allegations and fully implement recommendation of investigation.
7) Lastly the Department also conducts fraud risk assessment with the aim of identifying new fraud risk areas.