In an attempt to recover more than R7bn of taxpayers’ money spent on invalid government contracts, the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is fighting legal battles in courts across the country. Auditor-general Kimi Makwetu says that R50bn has been lost in unauthorised, fruitless, wasteful and irregular spending by government departments and municipalities. Recovering some of that money is essential if the government is to meet its service delivery promises. In its annual report released earlier in October, the SIU said that it had prevented the government from losing R407m in dodgy transactions at the Post Office and departments of public works and correctional services. Through legal action and other interventions, the unit had three state contracts totalling R797m declared invalid and set aside in the past financial year. This included a Post Office lease contract valued at R493m and an invalid correctional services contract valued at R301m. The SIU’s 26 current court cases, involvi...

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