Cosatu pledged its support on Thursday for plans by the Public Service Commission (PSC) to prohibit public servants from doing business with government.

“Public servants must choose either to serve the public or to go into private business, but never the two at the same time,” said Congress of SA Trade Unions spokesman Patrick Craven.

“The same rule must apply to elected public political leaders at municipal, provincial and national level.”

The PSC reported that financial misconduct in government had gone up from R346 million in 2009/2010 financial year to R932

million in 2010/2011.

Commission director-general Richard Levin reportedly told a Parliamentary portfolio committee on Wednesday that corruption would hit the R2 billion mark.

He recommended that officials found to be on the wrong side of the law be charged with misconduct for failing to disclose their conflict of interest.

Craven supported the idea of lifestyle audits of key staff in the civil service, and the development of policies on whistle-blowing and access to information.

The Democratic Alliance in Limpopo also welcomed the PSC's proposal.

“It underscores what the DA has been consistently calling for in Limpopo - the need to regulate government employees doing business with the provincial state,” said DA leader in Limpopo Jacques Smalle.

He said the party would reintroduce the debate in the provincial legislature on the need for a law to regulate government employees doing business with the state. - Sapa