SIU to investigate Eagle Waters fencing contract

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is investigating the installation of a R9.5 million perimeter fence at the Eagle Waters Wildlife Resort in Broederstroom that was allegedly awarded to a company without a tender process.

The Department of Public Works and Roads paid the money for a 3 900 m fence that was erected at the resort from 22 May to 7 July 2017.

The SIU said President Cyril Ramaphosa has authorised an investigation into corruption, malpractice and maladministration in the North West Department of Public Works and Roads and to recover any financial losses suffered by the department.

Eagle Waters is only one project to be investigated during the unit’s investigation into the procurement of works and services, as well as unlawful or improper conduct by the employees or officials of the department, service providers and anyone related to the allegations under investigation.

According to SIU spokesperson, Kaizer Kganyago, the SIU will investigate why the Eagle Waters project was awarded to a company without a competitive bidding process, and whether the department spent more than necessary, and if the project was properly budgeted for. He would not release the name of the company involved, saying it might jeopardise the investigation. He said the investigation was prompted after the SIU received information from a whistle-blower.

During its investigation into the department, the SIU will look into transactions which took place from 1 January 2016 connected with persons, entities or contracts being investigated.

Besides the Eagle Waters investigation, the SIU will also investigate project management for the Transport Infrastructure Directorate of the department, as well as the rehabilitation of flood damaged road infrastructure in the province.

“The SIU will exercise all its legislative powers to subpoena, search and seize evidence, and interrogate witnesses under oath during the investigation,” he said.

The SIU is an independent forensic and litigation agency established by the President to investigate serious malpractice, corruption, malfeasance and maladministration in relation to the administration of State institutions, State assets and public money as well as any conduct which may seriously harm the interest of the State and the public.