On Tuesday, DA MPL and member of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Tim Brauteseth said government had in effect “openly admitted” to him that laws about integrity and ethics in the public service that came into effect in 2014, under then president Jacob Zuma, had only been “operationalised” this year, under President Cyril Ramaphosa.
A special government unit working to ensure that ethics, integrity and disciplinary, which should have been set up, apparently still doesn’t exist though.
Brauteseth said that questions by the DA to Minister of Public Service and Administration Senzo Mchunu had “led to a remarkable admission of ineptitude, with the minister openly admitting that a 2014 law – created to apply the brakes on misconduct by government officials – was only ‘operationalised’ earlier this year”.
He said this revelation was made during a recent plenary session of the NCOP and that it related to the Public Administration Management Act.
“The Act, signed into law in December 2014, includes specifically laid-out extensive plans to hold officials to account in terms of ethics, integrity and discipline, including prohibitions on their doing business with the state.”
During the session, Mchunu reportedly admitted it was only in April 2019 that Ramaphosa “operationalised” 13 sections of the Act, including Section 15 that related to the establishment of a Public Administration Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit.
The minister acknowledged that the existence of such a unit could have prevented many of the corrupt activities exposed at the Zondo Commission.
“The DA in the NCOP finds this state of affairs completely unacceptable. The ANC-led government, under former President Jacob Zuma, has been exposed with officials clearly dragging their heels for five long years. Even with the supposed intervention of President Cyril Ramaphosa, this unit has still not been established to date,” said Brauteseth.
He said the minister had undertaken to meet with the relevant parties yesterday.
“Given that this meeting has now supposedly taken place, the DA calls on him to act without delay and ensure that accountability begins.
“Corruption robs South Africa of the life blood of resources that are vital to the upliftment of the people of our country.”
(Compiled by Charles Cilliers)