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Govt housing fraud: 1 000 officials convicted

Housing contracts worth R20bn to be investigated.

Over 1000 officials have been convicted of fraud related to sub-standard government housing, the department of human settlements said on Thursday.

“Contractors who were responsible for this shoddy workmanship are currently being prosecuted and public monies being recovered,” it said in a statement.

On Wednesday, Parliament’s human settlements portfolio committee heard input from the SA Human Rights Commission and the Public Protector on the delivery of government housing.

The department said housing contracts worth R20 billion had been identified for investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

“A total of 59 housing contracts worth R4bn have already been investigated and finalised. These relate to the payment of contractors for incomplete and poorly constructed houses.

“The SIU is currently conducting 13 criminal investigations on this matter. Potential public funds recoverable… amount to R101 million.”

The department said it had gone ahead with prosecutions against 1061 officials suspected of fraudulently benefiting from government housing programmes during the past two financial years (2010/11 and 2011/12).

Of these officials, 1002 had been convicted, and an amount of R17.9m recovered.

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