Anti-corruption strategy to stem corruption in SA infrastructure project – De Lille

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Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille says government is working on an enhanced system to monitor infrastructure projects more effectively and are putting systems in place to detect and prevent corruption.

De Lille says the correct checks and balances will be implemented to prevent corruption and maladministration. 

“We understand that people are very worried about corruption and restore the confidence in South Africa and investors, we have underpinned this whole infrastructure investment plan with the anti-corruption strategy so that as government we are able to show that we can deal with the delinquent and corrupt”

Addressing the Infrastructure South Africa Project Preparation Roundtable this week, de Lille said this will bring a greater level of transparency and will give credibility to the implementation of the Infrastructure Investment Plan.

All projects will be subjected to an independent due diligence process as well, de Lille added.

“As government we are showing that we are capable of turning the situation around by holding the corrupt and delinquent visibly accountable. We are putting in all possible measures to mitigate against this as we implement the Plan, starting with the 62 Strategic Integrated Projects.”

ANTI-CORRUPTION STRATEGY

De Lille said the Infrastructure Plan will be underpinned by an anti-corruption strategy, and working together with the Special Investigating Unit, her department was in the process of setting up an anti-corruption forum with representatives from the public and private sector based on the same principles of the anti-corruption forum set up within the Health Department.

“We spend too much time finding out what went wrong afterwards with commissions and inquiries when we should be investing those scarce resources into project preparation now to prevent mistakes.”

With regard to infrastructure, de Lille said government has already started developing the National Infrastructure Plan 2045, which will be in line with the NDP and National Spatial Development Framework.

Her comments comes after government’s renewed efforts to transform public infrastructure that will see at least R1 trillion in infrastructure investment over the next four years in a bid to boost the economy.

WELL-GOVERNED PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS

De Lille said one of the components of creating an enabling environment for project preparation is the establishment and consolidation of well-governed public institutions.

She said Cabinet has approved the establishment of Infrastructure South Africa (ISA) as the single-entry point for all infrastructure projects, and that ISA has been tasked to drive the implementation of the Infrastructure Investment Plan.

“One component of ISA is that it is the administrative arm of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission Council which is chaired by our President, to assist with blockages, unlocking funding and create a conducive environment for infrastructure investment.”

De Lille explained that ISA was established to allow the state to develop its own internal capacity to bring the requisite skills into government, adding that ISA is also in the process of adapting the infrastructure procurement framework to enable public-private partnerships and unlocking new funding mechanisms for major infrastructure investment.

South Africa’s Public Works and Infrastructure Minister said ISA is now also building capacity to prepare and package projects and to ensure oversight in the implementation of South Africa’s Infrastructure Investment Plan.

“The project preparation process done well ensures the identification and elimination of key risks at the earliest possible time and maximises development opportunities by ensuring that projects are well conceptualised and ready for implementation,” de Lille said.

Source: The South African