Makhura: Be a good civil servant or get out

By Drum Digital
07 November 2014

Speaking at the Gauteng Anti-Corruption Summit in Midrand on Friday, the province’s Premier David Makhura revealed his government will introduce more stringent measures to stop civil servants from doing business with the state in a bid to combat graft.

Makhura shared his plans to beef up the government’s anti-corruption units and set up integrity committees in departments to enforce the declaration of business interests by senior civil servants.

Although it is mandatory for the civil servants to declare their business interest, the Public Service Commission recently showed that there had only been 79% compliance with the rules over the past five years, in the country’s economic heartland.

“Public servants who don’t want to declare their interests should get out of the civil service,” Makhura told the summit.

The provincial treasury will, on Monday, launch a tender process that will be more open to the public as part of efforts to fight graft in the province.

While the extent of corruption in Gauteng is unknown, a recent survey by the Wits University based think-tank, Gauteng City Region Observatory, has revealed that 90% of the province’s residents were concerned about the threat corruption posed to democracy.

Makhura told the summit that they would monitor the pricing of materials and goods, and services rendered to the state. “…We will also blacklist, publicly expose and prosecute all companies that are involved in acts of bribery and corruption,” he added.

Corruption Watch boss, David Lewis said there were perceptions that corruption was particularly high in the SAPS and the metropolis, citing research by Transparency International.

Gauteng’s top detective Major-General Norman Taioe, however, dismissed Lewis’s comments saying, “Perceived corruption is not real corruption.”

Lewis hit back, saying “I wouldn’t take a great deal of refuge in the fact that these are perceptions. If you want to take comfort, I’d say you are deluding yourself.”

Participants in the summit—which was attended by government officials, business, faith-based organisations and civil society—recited a pledge committing themselves to ethical conduct.

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