PUBLIC servants should be encouraged to regularly recite the Government Code of Conduct, to improve professional and ethical conduct among government employees and root out fraud and corruption. This is the view of acting Premier of KZN, Dr Sibongiseni Dhlomo who was at the launch in Durban of the Public Service Commission’s Pledge, which promotes constitutional values and principles among state employees.
A Brigadier General in the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) himself, Dhlomo cited high levels of discipline among members of the Army as an example of the impact of reciting and internalising the Code of Conduct.
“In the army, when there’s a parade, all soldiers, including generals, repeat the code of conduct. When you repeat something, it becomes part of you. It is no wonder therefore that you find armies in the world, including ours, behaving the way they do. They are reminded all the time of their civil and national duty. Soldiers know the code of conduct by heart. And when you know something by heart, you tend to live it. Maybe we should consider having regular occasions where public servants are made to recite the Code of Conduct, so that they embrace and be part of it,” he said.
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Delivering a speech on behalf of Premier Willies Mchunu, Dhlomo said government was serious about rooting out corruption within all its spheres. Eradicating corruption, he said, will conserve resources as fraud and corruption have the potential to cause a massive drain of resources, which poses a risk to service delivery and may cause democracy to flounder.
“In fact, many studies have indicated that there is a negative correlation between investment on one hand and fraud and corruption on the other. While the lack of ethics can benefit a few individuals or groups in the short term, it may have devastating consequences for a province, a country and continent. We consistently said that it cannot be correct that nobody is held accountable for failing to achieve clean audits. Consequence management will apply in the workplace in order to turn this situation around. The statutory responsibility of accounting officers and all senior managers is to maintain effective systems of internal controls, and they must therefore be held accountable,” Dhlomo concluded.
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