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The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has questioned the Department of Water and Sanitation on unauthorised expenditure on 10 projects that were undertaken, but not budgeted for.

The unplanned projects which were identified by the Auditor-General, include the Giyani project, the Mopani project, Northern Nsikazi, emergency intervention on the Vaal, budget eradication programme, War on Leaks, Limpopo  GLeWAP phase Tzaneen dam, Mzimvubu Water Projects, raising of the Clanwilliam Dam and the Greater Mbizana Lower Thukela Taung/Naledi.

According to the committee some of these projects have over-run and the department has overspent on some and extended others as such it has requested the concept papers of all these projects to obtain more information.

The committee has requested a breakdown of how the department shifted money from the Water Trading Entity (WTE) to the War on Leaks programme and how much was moved during the 2015/16 to 2017/18 financial years.

“It has become apparent that the shifting of funds for unfunded projects has had a detrimental effect on the WTE,” notes, Themba Godi chairperson of Scopa.

Scopa also requested a breakdown of the R3 billion that was spent on the War on Leaks programme, as well as the status of all the learners that were funded through this project.

The committee is also seeking a detailed report on how the R454 million overdraft that was granted to the department by the Reserve Bank, which increased sharply to R3 billion in the 2016/17 financial year and then decreased to R1.4 billion.

“Scopa also wants the payment breakdown of the R124.6 million spent on the planning of the Umzimvubu Water Project, since the construction of the dam has not even started. The committee wants the details of the companies and names of all those involved, as well as how much they were paid,” Godi says.

“We have also requested the Department of Water and Sanitation’s organogram and bank statements, as of 30 November 2018, so that Scopa can be aware of the extent of the department’s bankruptcy,” he adds.

The committee has scheduled three more hearings with the department next week.

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