Modulasetulo, mohl Tona Mt?ana Sisulu, mohl Motlat?atona Mme Dlodlo, maloko a a hlomphegago a Ntlo ye le baeng kamoka ke a le dumedi?a. Ke tla thoma ka gore ANC e thekga Kabotekanyet?o ye. (Translation of Sepedi paragraph follows.)
[Ms M C MOHALE: Chairperson, hon Minister Ms Sisulu, hon Deputy Minister Ms Dlodlo, hon members and distinguished guests, I greet you all. Let me first indicate that the ANC supports this budget.]
Corruption destroys lives and communities and undermines the development of countries and institutions. It generates popular anger that threatens to further destabilise societies and to exacerbate violent conflicts. It leads to failure in the delivery of basic services like education and health care. It derails the building of essential infrastructure. It is an attack on the democratic state.
South Africa has joined the international community in adopting the United Nations Millennium Declaration and its Millennium Development Goals, in which we agreed to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. As a country, we are implementing many programmes aimed at achieving the objective of eradicating extreme poverty and hunger. The dilemma we face as a country is that all our efforts towards achieving this goal will not be realised if corruption is allowed to siphon off state resources that are aimed at eradicating this poverty.
The fight against corruption is a fight in defence of the democratic gains. It is a fight to defend the democratic state and its institutions. In this regard, let us be strengthened in our resolve to fight crime by taking our cue from the ANC's 2009 election manifesto, which proclaimed that the ANC government would step up measures against crime in society, the state and the private sector, including measures to review the tendering system to ensure that politicians do not tamper with the adjudication of tenders and that it will establish a new, modernised and efficient justice system to enhance the capacity of the state for fighting and reducing crime in real terms.
The department should work with other departments so that a better impact can be made on corruption, as was resolved by delegates of the ruling party during the 53rd conference, when they said that there should be greater co- operation across the spheres of government in dealing with corruption and that corruption should be punished. Tona, bohodu ke bohodu. [Minister, theft is theft.]
We congratulate the Minister for her efforts aimed at expediting the establishment of the anticorruption bureau, which will be established in terms of Statute, to investigate corruption-related cases in the Public Service in all three spheres of government. The bureau will investigate high-level corruption, fraud cases and manage disciplinary hearings on behalf of departments where required. This is to be appreciated because one of the areas that we have been critical of is the long time it takes the Public Service to conclude disciplinary cases as well as the waste of resources in the form of continued payment of salaries to suspended officials who have no value to offer the people in return for the public's money.
We applaud the fact that public servants found guilty of misconduct will have their names and information stored in a central database and that they would soon be unable to change jobs within government. This is a good intervention which will ensure that the public outcry that officials who are facing corruption allegations seem to escape censure by being moved from one department to another is heeded. This is what has earned our democratic state the dubious honour of being soft on corruption. Through this step by the Minister, the ANC government is sending a clear message to the public that fraudsters and criminals are not allowed to hide behind the banner of the glorious people's movement, the ANC. [Applause.]
The incapacity of government departments to deal with misconduct cases has meant that, for a long time, officials suspected of misconduct remained suspended with pay for long periods. Now the cases of misconduct will be fast-tracked through the bureau. We have learned with appreciation that what is now outstanding is a final meeting with the department officials assigned to do this work so that they are informed of the approach and for them to submit the documents with whatever changes may be deemed necessary.
There are other measures aimed at assisting with the issues of corruption. For example, the Ethics and Integrity Framework regulating business and financial interest disclosure, remunerative work outside the Public Service, and receipt of gifts by public servants has been approved by Cabinet. We applaud the announcement by the Minister that a central database of cases of officials found guilty of corruption will be established. We also have the National Anti-Corruption Hotline, which is managed by the Public Service Commission.
The ANC government gives expression to its commitment to fighting corruption in a systematic way through institutionalised mechanisms. Another mechanism, namely the Office of Standards and Compliance, which the Minister has announced today, will strive to realise the following objectives: addressing areas of noncompliance with Public Service regulations and prescripts, conducting a compliance audit at national and provincial levels to provide credible information on the status of the Public Service and Administration, and monitoring of compliance and co- ordination of required interventions.
In conclusion, the government cannot fight corruption and its manifestation alone. It is a collective responsibility requiring the collective action of all stakeholders. It is the responsibility of each and every South African to contribute to an ethical society to prevent irregular activities from taking place.
Ke tla fet?a ka gore ke leboga ba Kgoro ya Ditirelo t?a Mmu?o le Taolo le makalana a yona. Ke leboga gape le Tona, Motlat?atona le Modulasetulo wa Komiti ya Kgoro ya Ditirelo t?a Mmu?o le Taolo. Ke re go lena t?a etwa ke basadi pele di nwa maswi. Ke a leboga. (Translation of Sepedi paragraph follows.) [I would like to end my speech by thanking the Department of Public Service and Administration together with its sectors. I would also like to thank the Minister, the Deputy Minister and the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration. Women are good leaders. Thank you.]