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SIU authorised to investigate the “War on Leaks” Programme and two other water projects linked to the Department of Water and Sanitation

President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed Proclamation 164 of 2024, authorising the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate allegations of serious maladministration in the Department of Water and Sanitation and to recover any financial losses suffered by the State or the Department.

Proclamation 164 of 2024 authorises the SIU to probe serious maladministration in connection with the affairs of the Department, including the causes of such maladministration, arising from the procurement of, or contracting for goods, works or services concerning:

  1. the “Drop the Block” Project and the contract entered into in respect thereof between the Department and Sedibeng Water dated 21 April 2016;
  2. the “Almost Empty Outdoor” Campaign and the appointment of Sedibeng Water as the implementing agent in an allegedly irregular manner for the provision of generic services in 2016; and;
  3. the “War on Leaks” Programme and the alleged irregular appointments of and payments to Rand Water and the Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority for the period 2015 to 2018/2019.

The SIU will also investigate any unauthorised, irregular, fruitless, or wasteful expenditure incurred by the department or the State. The scope of the investigation also covers any unlawful or improper conduct by department officials or employees, the applicable suppliers or service providers, or any other person or entity which has caused or may cause serious harm to the interests of the public. Furthermore, the investigation will also establish whether there was any unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money.

The Proclamation covers allegations of unlawful and improper conduct that took place between 1 January 2015 and 19 April 2024, the date of the publication of the Proclamation or before 1 January 2015 and after the date of the Proclamation that are relevant to, connected with, and incidental to the matters or involve the same persons, entities or contracts investigated.

In addition to investigating maladministration, malpractice, corruption and fraud, the SIU will identify system failures and make systematic recommendations to improve measures to prevent future losses.
In line with the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996 (SIU Act), the SIU will refer any evidence pointing to criminal conduct it uncovers during its investigations to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for further action.

The SIU is empowered by the SIU Act to institute a civil action in the High Court or a Special Tribunal in its name to correct any wrongdoing uncovered during its investigation caused by acts of corruption, fraud, or maladministration.

Kaizer Kganyago
Spokesperson: Special Investigating Unit
082 306 8888