To put the SIU investigations into perspective: their overall value is just under half the R10.38bn Covid-19 expenditure, according to the National Treasury.

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is probing 658 Covid-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) tenders and other pandemic related contracts worth R5.08-billion. It’s a moving target, Parliament’s public spending watchdog, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa), was told on Wednesday.

To put the SIU investigations into perspective: their overall value at R5,083,478,584 is just over half the R10.38-billion Covid-19 expenditure, according to the National Treasury.

It’s not a straightforward comparison, as the National Treasury figure for national and provincial Covid-19 spending runs from April to July, while the SIU values run from January to 23 July. And when the Treasury provided Parliament’s finance committees on 5 August with that R10.38-billion Covid-19 expenditure – R3.58-billion nationally and R6.8-billion in provinces – the documentation made it clear, for example, that police, defence and Free State had not provided data.

But the comparison, alongside Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s repeated observation of how the thieves were waiting at the door, underscores the extent of corruption, fraud, irregularities and maladministration.

It’s unsurprising that public outrage and pushback erupted, also over how the…



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