On 10 October, Minister of Public and Administration, Richard Baloy, announced new measures to clamp down on corruption within the public sector. He is set to propose these reforms when he launches his department's anti-corruption unit in November.
His proposals included:
- a centralised facility for disciplining officials in departments at local, provincial and national level;
- no pay for officials suspended for serious offences;
- preventing officials facing disciplinary action from receiving golden handshakes or resigning just before being investigated; and
- preventing officials from simultaneously holding government positions and having business interests, whether declared or not.
The unit will team up with Treasury officials, Willie Hofmeyer's Special Investigating Unit, the auditor-general and the Public Service Commission to crack down on graft. It will probe only public servants, not politicians, who fall under the parliamentary ethics code.
Baloyi said that procurement corruption by officials using proxy shareholding through relatives would receive urgent attention and he also pledged to beef up the protection of whistle-blowers and any evidence of criminal acts uncovered by the new unit will be handed to law-enforcement and prosecuting authorities.
Further details of the new unit will be announced in mid-November.