Cyril Ramaphosa warns against those waiting to steal KZN flood relief funds

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President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned against those planning to loot public funds meant for relief measures in KwaZulu-Natal, saying government will put in place measures to prevent corruption.

Ramaphosa told Parliament on Tuesday that he has roped in the Auditor-General, Tsakani Maluleke, to work with the National Treasury in keeping an eye on the funds.

He said the Auditor-General would provide real-time audits to determine if the funds had been used properly and spent on goods and services that were required.

This was one measure that they would use to prevent corruption.

Ramaphosa said it was a shame that when the issue of funds was mentioned, the only thing that was discussed in public was whether they would be stolen. This showed that the people were tired of corruption.

Ramaphosa, who was addressing the joint sitting of Parliament, said it was clear more funds would be needed to rebuild KwaZulu-Natal. The government has earmarked R1 billion, but more billions are said to to be coming in.

Ramaphosa said with more funds in the pipeline, they needed to ensure every cent was accounted for.

“We must ensure that all funds used to respond to this disaster are spent effectively. It is a gross source of shame when this disaster struck the most burning public debate was around fears that resources allocated to respond to this disaster will be misappropriated or wasted. This shows us just how tired the people of South Africa have become of corruption. It is a stern reminder to all of government and businesses providing goods and services that the people of South Africa will not stand for acts of self-enrichment at the expense of those who have already lost,” said Ramaphosa.

“That is why several measures are being taken to strengthen oversight and accountability. Working with the National Treasury, the Auditor-General will conduct real-time audits on the emerging flood relief funds. This will provide independent assurance of whether the public funds have been appropriately accounted for and were used for their intended purposes,” he said.

He added these real-time audits would prevent and detect fraudulent and corrupt activities in the system.

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