Johannesburg - The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) will be facing a funding crisis if State entities and debtors continue to shirk payments, and warned that if an agreement with National Treasury is not reached its investigative capacity will be compromised in the next two to three years.
The body has informed President Cyril Ramaphosa about challenges over the payment for the Covid-19 protective personal equipment (PPE) corruption and other investigations undertaken by the SIU.
SIU spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago, speaking to a broadcaster on Friday, said the body was engaging with national treasury regarding the SIU’s invoices being sent to it (treasury) instead of the state organs/persons that owe money to the SIU.
“We then went to treasury and said can't we have you as a central institution so we only invoice treasury so they (treasury) can get the monies owed by other institutions?
”That is the discussion we are having with treasury, and those discussions are still going on but in the meantime we have invoiced some of the institutions, up to this point we were able to get R5.3 million and we are left with R200 million that we need to recover; that is why we decided we will put this in our report so that we can make the president aware of the circumstance we are finding ourselves in,” said Kganyago.
He said the SIU foresaw major problems going ahead so started engaging with treasury. He said a workable solutions has to be found because they don't want to put the burden at the door of treasury alone.
“We are engaging with them, we are trying to look at different ways of getting this money and we are hopeful that we will find something, but we were in a position to (have) to say to the president this is the position we find ourselves, can you also assist where you can,” he said.
Kganyago said in the meantime the SIU will continue to do its work with the available resources.
“We will use the resources at our disposal but if we continue seeing that people decide not to pay we are going to end up with a situation that our money will be depleted because we get around 55% of our income from government and the other 45% is what we invoice from people,” said Kganyago.
Kganyago said the SIU wanted Ramaphosa to be aware of the dire situation it may be facing soon.
“At the moment we are in a good financial position but we are focusing on the future where we are able to say if the situation continues, because it is not only with the PPE’s, it's also with other people who have been owing us.
“ The matter has been raised with Scopa before and if it continues this way at a later stage it may affect us, but at the moment we will use resources that we have in our coffers to make sure that quality doesn't suffer and make sure all the things we need to do are done,” Kganyago said.