President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday expressed regret that lifestyle audits for members of the executive had not taken place since he made a commitment to achieve this in 2018.
Ramaphosa said the lifestyle audits would be concluded in a short space of time.
DA leader John Steenhuisen asked during the oral question session in the National Assembly on Tuesday whether the lifestyle audits for the executive had been concluded.
In his response, Ramaphosa said lifestyle audits of public servants had been compulsory since 2021 and as at March 2023, more than 11 000 public in national government have undergone the audits.
“This process of lifestyle audit for members of the executive was initially initiated towards the end of 2022.
This had been preceded by a number of processes,” he said.
He also said earlier this year he sent letters to Deputy President Paul Mashatile, the ministers and deputy ministers requesting their consent in writing to ensure the information was obtained in a legitimate and legal manner.
“I received the same letter signed by the Director-General. Members of the executive have submitted consent forms for the nationally driven process of lifestyle audits,” he said.
Ramaphosa noted that the implementation of the lifestyle audits has been delayed to some extent by the change of a service provider.
“It is anticipated that this project will be concluded in a short space of time.”
Ramaphosa also said the service provider would be able to do lifestyle audits much more efficiently and quicker.
“The type of information to come out would be sufficiently comprehensive to be able to indicate precisely what each member of the executive has in the form of assets, debts and whatever.
“That process is firmly underway and the DG in the presidency, who is in charge of various disclosures of members of the executive, is fully able and capable of leading this process.
“I do regret the delays. It should not have taken so long but the intent is there,” he said.
Asked by Steenhuisen when the lifestyle audit of Mashatile would be concluded, Ramaphosa said the process did not focus on specific individuals.
“This process does not focus on any member of the executive solely.
It focuses on all of us,” he explained.
The president indicated that once the process was concluded, the director-general would report on the lifestyle audits.
Ramaphosa also said presumption of innocence would underpin the lifestyle audits as they were a good governance measure that members of the executive served with diligence, integrity and morals.
“We would like to get to a point where we have leaders in government able to demonstrate they are not in government to serve their personal interest.”
Asked how the government will strengthen the cooperative governance among the three spheres of government, Ramaphosa said cooperative governance was introduced to ensure the three spheres of government worked together to meet the needs of the people.
“Each sphere has its constitutionally assigned responsibilities, duties and powers,” he said.
Ramaphosa said the district development model was geared towards improving and strengthening the inter-governmental relations (IGR) as an approach to give effect to the constitutional principle of cooperative governance.
Ramaphosa said it was unfortunate that there was discord between the Transport Minister and the City of Cape Town over enforcement of traffic legislation that led to the recent taxi strike in Cape Town.
“What needs to happen is that the various parties must sit down and clearly define what the rules, regulations and parameters and where the powers at local government and national government are.
“With this clarity, we would have better management of transport,” he said.
Ramaphosa said the local government had to have the ability to manage transport.
However, this should flow from the national legislation.