By Thys Khiba
Pretoria – The South African and African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa says that his government still has a long way in instilling a culture of ethics in the public service as more than 16 000 government employees submitted applications for the R350 grant meant for unemployed people.
“The revelation in Parliament that thousands of public servants have been illegally receiving social grants every month shows we still have a long way to go towards instilling a culture of ethics in the public service,” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa says his government is now stepping up to act against employees in the public service involved in wrongdoing of the COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress grant.
According to Ramaphosa, his government launched a new Public Administration Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit to build capacity within public bodies to institute disciplinary proceedings in cases of misconduct and cooperate with other organs of state in holding those responsible to account.
The unit is expected to monitor the conduct of lifestyle audits of public service employees.
“The unit will refer corruption cases to government’s Anti-Corruption Task Team and follow up with departments to ensure criminal cases involving public servants translate into disciplinary cases. Working with the multi-agency Fusion Centre, the unit will help identify employees in priority cases investigated by law enforcement authorities,” said Ramaphosa.
Ramaphosa confirmed that the new unit has already begun its work in earnest, helping to identify public servants involved in cases related to COVID-19 procurement, the special COVID-19 grant and Unemployment Insurance Fund fraud.
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