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Financial disclosure by KZN government officials welcomed

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Published Aug 30, 2023

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Durban - The KwaZulu-Natal government has achieved 100% compliance in the form of disclosures of interests made by the senior managers in government and public entities, the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) was recently told.

A presentation by the Public Service Commission (PSC) at the KZN Legislature revealed that officials had met the May 2023 deadline to submit details of their financial and business interests.

According to the PSC, this marked the first time in five years that KZN senior officials had met the deadline.

A PSC official commended Scopa members for their role in ensuring officials disclosed their interests in time.

Scopa committee member Francois Rodgers said it was encouraging to note that the officials were taking the rules governing the conduct of public servants, especially senior officials, seriously.

He added that the challenge would be to determine if the officials had been completely honest in declaring their interests.

According to Scopa’s chairperson, Maggie Govender, the compliance by officials was one of the items which they had sought to have attended to.

She said such disclosures would also determine whether there is any conflict of interest in the transactions undertaken by government departments. In the past, questions have been raised around whether government officials had companies that were also doing business with the government, without disclosing this.

With government contracts amounting to millions of rand, there have been suggestions that in some instances, officials could have influenced the awarding of some contracts, knowing that they would benefit in the process.

Govender said the disclosures made the work of the committee and other oversight structures easier.

“We welcome this development and the important thing now is to ensure that disclosures by the officials become the norm,” she told The Mercury.