CAPE TOWN, The South African Parliament’s Committee on Public Enterprises has been empowered to investigate “State Capture”, the term commonly used in the country to describe the exercise of undue influence over top leaders of the State by outside interests.

The legislature has approved additional resources for the inquiry after members of Parliament were told earlier this month that the cost of a probe would be exorbitant and that Parliament was unable to provide the services of an evidence leader.

Two weeks ago the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises was buckling under pressure to deliver on it oversight mandate and it sent a third party delegation, comprising members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) party, themain opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) to appeal for more resources as it seeks seek to get to the bottom of State Capture.

“Given the complexity of the task, as well as the challenging nature of probing allegations of State Capture through government parastatals, it is appropriate and necessary that this committee should be allocated the necessary resources to ensure that it is equal to the ask, to ensure that it’s able to do its job with thoroughness,” said parliament Spokesperson Moloto Mothapo.

MP Nthuthuzelo Vanara, who led evidence in the Parliamentary Inquiry into the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) Board, has been seconded to lead this inquiry.

“Given the fact that our mandate is that we start with the (public power utility) Eskom debacle, and then move on to (State-controlled rail, port and pipeline company) Transnet and (state-owned aerospace and defence technology conglomerate) Denel,” says DA member of parliament Natasha Mazzone.

“It means that a lot of resources are going to be required, a lot of experts in the field, such as forensic auditors and legal advisers are going to be required and we now feel that we’re going to be armed and ready for our duty at hand.”

“We now have to be serious about our programme, use the evidence leader and ensure that the appropriate people who can assist the committee in its task are invited to the Committee to give evidence,” said IFP MP Narend Singh.

However, it is still notclear when the inquiry will officially get underway.