SIU to probe Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency affairs

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is expected to investigate allegations of serious maladministration at the Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency (ECRDA). This after President Cyril Ramaphosa signed a proclamation authorising the unit to delve into the affairs of the agency. SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the unit will also look to recover any financial losses that the state may have incurred. 'Proclamation R147 of 2024 authorises the SIU to probe the procurement and/or contracting for goods, works or services concerning a tender for the planning and design of the Marine Tilapia Industry Incubator Project within the Mbhashe Local Municipality, by or on behalf of the ECRDA. 'The SIU will also investigate any unauthorised, irregular, or fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by ECRDA or the State. The scope of the investigation also covers any unlawful or improper conduct by officials or employees of ECRDA, the applicable suppliers or service providers or any other person or entity,' he exp lained. The proclamation allows the unit to probe allegations over the period between February 2020 and 26 January 2024. '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 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,' Kganyago said. Source: South African Government News Agency