Freedom Front Plus
Freedom Front Plus

Codes of conduct and laws with loopholes are useless against public officials with sticky fingers

(Second reading debate in Parliament: Public Administration Management Amendment Bill)

Nine years ago, a revised code of conduct for public officials was implemented to slam the brakes on the gravy train by preventing officials from doing business with government in any way, whether it be in their personal capacity or by means of an enterprise.

It did so little to stop this runaway corruption train that the Public Administration Management Amendment Bill is yet another attempt at keeping officials with sticky fingers in check.

The problem, however, is that this Bill has many loopholes which will make it just as useless as the code of conduct.

There has never been much work ethics under ANC rule and as an employer, government did almost nothing to establish a culture of accountability.

Unfortunately, no legislation will promote good work ethics and integrity.

That can only be achieved by a merit-based system for making appointments. Appointments should be made based on experience, qualifications and a proven track record – not based on political ties.

Institutional work ethics are further promoted through consistent and stringent, yet fair, consequence management. If things are done in this way, there will be no need for laws to keep public officials in check.

The biggest loophole in the proposed legislative amendment is that it does not prohibit secondary benefiting from conducting business with government.

For example, no mention is made of silent partners. Directors are certainly not the only ones benefiting from an enterprise or business transaction.

By now, everyone knows that the ANC is a master manipulator of loopholes. It will always find a way to make money out of the state coffers, whether for personal or political gain.

One positive aspect of the Bill is that the public servants of government’s 42 departments, most of which are dysfunctional, will receive training and education from the existing national government school. This Bill ratifies the school’s role.

Still, no amount of training or development can magically transform the current public service into one founded on sound management and proper work ethics. The damage is simply too great and the rot runs too deep.

The only way to bring about improvement is to get rid of the dishonest, incompetent cadres and political interference. Training will not change that.

The only real solution is to oust the ANC so South Africa can be rebuilt by people who truly care about the country.



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