Take responsibility: EthicsSA

Johannesburg - Respect for the law, policies, and regulations should be a bare minimum in South Africa, the Ethics Institute of SA (EthicsSA) said on Monday.

“Too many people in public life use the law or legal concepts as way to shift blame,” EthicsSA CEO Deon Rossouw said in a statement.

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga. File Photo: Sizwe Ndingane. Credit: Independent Newspapers

Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga, Limpopo education MEC Dickson Masemola, and the SA Democratic Teachers' Union, had all refused to take responsibility for the Limpopo textbook crisis, he said.

Respect for the law as a bare minimum was the second of four principles which would help cure South African society of its problems, said Rossouw.

Respect for the law, policies, and regulations was the first step to beating corruption, bad service delivery, and a malfunctioning education system.

Such a culture had to hold true for both those matters which appeared to be trivial and those of importance.

The other two principles related to consequences; the first being for non-performance.

“If there are no consequences, and the same old faces keep on reappearing in new jobs, then we will never build a functioning state or a healthy society.”

Conversely, there should also be consequences for good performance.

“If one is solely focused on catching people out, one creates a climate of fear that actually encourages people to duck accountability and inhibits action.”

It was vitally important to identify the top performers and reward them.

“This type of action inspires people to do their best and positively reinforces the culture of accountability,” Rossouw said. - Sapa