I don't know which figure is more outrageous: the fact that there are a million 'public servants' in South Africa, or that 10% of them have defrauded the state.
Why haven't fraudster cops been sacked? - DA
Public Service Corruption: Minister sends wrong message to South Africans
The Democratic Alliance (DA) shall be calling on the Minister of Public Service and Administration, Richard Baloyi, to appear before Parliament's Portfolio Committee to provide an explanation of why public officials convicted of fraud and corruption have not been dismissed. The ANC government has sent an unequivocal message: it has neither the political will to tackle corruption, nor the capacity to do so, implicitly condoning the looting of the state by cadres.
Reports say that nearly 1000 police officials have been convicted of fraud after investigations by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU). It was further revealed that a total of 96 000 public servants have stolen from the state. Since the beginning of the Zuma Administration we have heard of a pledge to root out corruption in the government and the civil service. President Zuma made it one of the priorities of his government in his first State of the Nation address.
However, the Zuma government has declined dismissing those convicted, saying that the consequences would be too severe for the civil service to handle.
It is interesting to unpack the implications.
The message that the National Government is sending is that if corruption happens on a big enough scale, you will not be prosecuted and thus almost gives an open field to civil servants wishing to defraud the public.
That in turn sends a message to the corrupt that they should mobilize in large numbers and discourages transparent and honest people.
The implication is that corruption is apparently so extensive in South Africa that the state cannot act against proven offenders. This raises disturbing questions of the authority of the state and its capacity to enforce the laws which underpin our country.
There is seemingly little political will to root out corruption from the senior leadership of the ANC government. President Zuma has done little but offer empty promises that tackling corruption would be the central focus of his Administration, starting with his first state of the nation address.
Indeed, that political will seems to be subservient to satisfying political interests rather than enforcing the principle of clean government, which should be non-negotiable, as demonstrated by the Administration's disinclination to prosecute those who broke the law in the recent Public Sector Strike.
Public Service and Administration Minister Richard Baloyi has promised an ‘Anti-Corruption Task-Team' which, to date, is nothing more than a hypothetical.
Minister Baloyi, like President Zuma, misses the point about corruption. The key to tackling this scourge is not by launching another costly initiative that will be tied down with a weighted bureaucracy and political maneuverings. It is by demonstrating decisive political leadership and will when it is needed, without thinking of the political risks.
In the Western Cape, DA leader and Premier Helen Zille has tackled corruption head-on since taking office and placed the principle of good governance at the very heart of her administration. We have seen results as shown in a full clean sweep of audits for the Provincial Government, a first nationally since at least 2004.
Faced with these two radically different approaches, by the time of the 2011 Local Government elections, voters shall be faced with two alternatives: an ANC that thinks fighting corruption means giving successive empty speeches, or a party of action that delivers what it promises.
Statement issued by Anchen Dreyer, MP, Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister of Public Service and Administration, September 12 2010