Gordhan: A decade of officials’ conduct to be probed in lifestyle audits

A decade of conduct will come under the microscope in lifestyle audits that will probe government and state-owned enterprise heavyweights active from 2009 to 2019, Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan has said.

The audits would take place using existing mechanisms and will be used to hold those who have unduly benefited from state resources and procurement accountable.

Gordhan’s remarks are included in a written reply to a question from Democratic Alliance MP Alf Lees, who sought clarity on remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his State of the Nation Address.

Ramaphosa had said in February that lifestyle audits would establish the extent to which government and parastatal leaders and managers were conflicted – if at all – when procuring on behalf of the state.

In his written reply, Gordhan said the audits would focus on the period from April 2009 to date and were planned for completion by March 2019. Eskom had already commenced work on lifestyle audits, he added.


Cabinet members declare their financial interests with the Presidency and the Parliamentary Ethics Committee, while senior management service members declare financial interests with the Public Service Commission annually.

Gordhan, who previously served as finance minister, said entities such as the Public Service Commission, the Special Investigations Unit and the Office of the Chief Procurement Officer would assist in lifting the lid on officials using state procurement to assist cronies.

Several of South Africa’s state-owned entities have been plagued by mismanagement, financial strain and other scandals. Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene has also noted that audit outcomes of state departments and entities – procuring billions each in goods and services – have suffered immensely due to financial mismanagement and weak governance.

The audits were currently in phase two, Gordhan said.

“The first phase of the audits will cover board members, executives in SOCs (state-owned companies), company secretaries and prescribed officers that had served in the SOCs since 2009 to date.

“The SIU’s mandate will be extended to commence lifestyle audits that will cover all six SOCs under the ministry of public enterprises,” he said.

Gordhan said the second phase of the lifestyle audits, which is currently underway, would focus on officials in supply chain management, auditors as well past and present officials in the department of public enterprises.

“Among others, the work would reflect how SMS members within the Department and SOC officials may have abused their positions of authority to unduly benefit themselves and their family members through state procurement opportunities,” he explained.

He said the audits would be used to hold those who have unduly benefited from state resources and procurement accountable.

They would also enhance procurement governance practices within the department, as well as help to recover monies the state lost as a result of abuse, he added. — Fin 24

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Khulekani Magubane
Khulekani Magubane

Khulekani Magubane is a senior financial reporter for Fin24. 

Related stories

Fix economy: Cut, build, tax

Expert panel presents a range of solutions to the economic crisis that include cost cutting, infrastructure spending and a solidarity levy

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

Watch it again: Ramaphosa details economic recovery plan

According to the Presidency, the plan aims to expedite, in a sustainable manner, the recovery of South Africa’s economy

Ramaphosa reiterates support for emerging farmers

On the back of the announcement that the government would allocate more land to be leased by emerging farmers, President Cyril Ramaphosa says that beneficiaries will also be trained in financial management and enterprise development

Citizens tired of being played for a fool

The use of a South African Air Force jet by ANC officials without the minister following the required procedures is one such case — and more questions arise on examination of that case

Infrastructure key to economic recovery — Ramaphosa

The governing party wants localisation at the centre of its infrastructure-led strategy
Advertising

Subscribers only

SAA bailout raises more questions

As the government continues to grapple with the troubles facing the airline, it would do well to keep on eye on the impending Denel implosion

ANC’s rogue deployees revealed

Despite 6 300 ANC cadres working in government, the party’s integrity committee has done little to deal with its accused members

More top stories

The Nigerian government is killing its citizens — again

‘Nigeria kills its people. Nigeria has always killed its people.’

Finance probe into the Ingonyama Trust Board goes ahead

The threat of legal action from ITB chairperson Jerome Ngwenya fails to halt forensic audit ordered by the land reform minister

Ailing Far East Rand hospital purchases ‘vanity’ furniture

Dr Zacharia Mathaba, who purchased the furniture, is a suspected overtime fraudster and was appointed as Gauteng hospital chief executive despite facing serious disciplinary charges

Institutions of higher learning should commemorate their casualties

The bust of Matikweni Nkuna at Tshwane University of Technology is an example of how we should honour those who fought for equal access to education
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday