President Jacob Zuma has signed a proclamation ordering the Special Investing Unit (SIU) to investigate the perennially troubled Universal Service & Access Agency of South Africa (Usaasa), his office said on Tuesday evening.
Zuma wants a probe of allegations “in respect of affairs” of the agency, which collects revenue from licensed telecommunications operators and broadcasters for investment in underserviced parts of the country.
The SIU will investigate serious maladministration in connection with the affairs of the agency and its board, according to Zuma’s office. It will also probe improper or unlawful conduct by employees of the agency and unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money or property.
Zuma has also asked the SIU to investigate “unlawful, irregular or unapproved acquisitive act, transaction, measure or practice having a bearing upon state property; intentional or negligent loss of public money or damage to public property; unlawful or improper conduct by any person, which has caused or may cause serious harm to the interests of the public or any category thereof; and maladministration in relation to the recruitment process, which resulted in the appointment, in 2013, of the CEO of the agency”.
“The SIU is further authorised to investigate the agency’s funding, by way of a subsidy in the amount of R500m, to a service provider for the construction and expansion of an electronic communications network for Emalahleni local municipality and the procurement of services in relation to the rapid deployment of public access facilities programme and payments made in relation thereto.” — (c) 2014 NewsCentral Media