South African Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration, as well as the Monitoring and Evaluation have come out in support of the push by the government’s governance and administration cluster to fully implement the revised Code of Conduct for public service employees which also states that no public servant must do any form of business with the state.
"The practice has in many instances undermined government’s ability to deliver quality services, as in many instances companies connected to public servants got business they were not equipped to deliver. These regulations will surely help avoid such challenges and ensure quality services to South Africans," said Dr. Makhosi Khoza, the Chairperson of the South African Parliament's Portfolio Committee.
"“Now that the transitional period has lapsed, the Committee encourages executive authorities and accounting officers to make sure that the regulations are adhered to,”Dr. Makhosi Khoza, the Chairperson of the South African Parliament's Portfolio Committee
The Revised Code of Conduct, which came into effect on 1 August 2016, seeks to prohibit South African government employees at all levels from doing any form of business with organs of state, whether in their own capacity as individuals or through companies in which they are directors. The 2016 Public Regulations provided for a transitional arrangement enabling public servants who were doing business with the state to either resign from the public service or relinquish their business interest by the 31st of January 2017.
The Committee encourages the maximum use of the National Anti-Corruption Hotline (NACH) as it will open a direct line to authorities and will empower them to fight corruption.
This call will likely be welcomed by many as there have been many allegations of various government employees benefitting from government ICT tenders. What is not clear is what will be done when a government employee uses family or friends to bid for government business.