SIU to investigate company associated with ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has referred alleged financial irregularities in the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to the Special Investigating Unit, his office said on Wednesday.

The alleged irregularities involving the contracting and prepayment made to Enviro Mobi, a company which is associated with ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe, were some of the matters referred to the SIU for investigation, the Gauteng government said in a statement.

Over the past week, Makhura held meetings with MECs and deads of department to discuss various forensic investigation reports that were never acted upon by departments, and ordered that all reports of forensic investigations be referred to the SIU for further investigation and action.

“I have referred all allegations of financial irregularities and maladministration to the SIU for investigation,” said Makhura.

The department’s internal audit and the provincial treasury’s report raised problems regarding a prepayment of R26m made to Enviro Mobi for the supply of motorised three-wheelers. 

The provincial treasury deemed the contract irregular, because Enviro Mobi had not provided the mandatory costing for the three-year period of the project, and the department had not fully budgeted for the project.

"As the head of this administration, I am committed to fight corruption and maladministration, and ensuring that ours is a clean and accountable government," Makhura said.

'Key objectives'

According to a Mail & Guardian report, the Gauteng government was struggling to contain a fallout from a controversial and unlawful R26m payment for prepayment for motorised three-wheelers that were allegedly never delivered by Enviro Mobi.

The company is allegedly embroiled in a war of words with the Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Development. The disagreement reportedly relates to a contract to provide waste pickers (informal recyclers) with motorised bicycles that the department wants to pull out of, it was reported.

Instead of giving in to the department’s demands to cancel the contract, the company allegedly made its own demand, for R9m for storing the vehicles since September.

Meanwhile, Gauteng Economic Development, Environment, Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Lebogang Maile, on Wednesday, handed over three-wheeler vehicles to informal waste pickers in Krugersdorp whoe were earmarked by the provincial government

"One of the key objectives of the project is to integrate informal recyclers through cooperatives (co-ops) and SMMEs into the mainstream waste economy, providing an income earning opportunity for large numbers of poor people within our communities and pursuing alternatives for land filling through encouraging recycling and re-use," said Maile in a statement.