Deputy President David Mabuza says all members of the national executive will have to undergo lifestyle audits.
Parliament - Deputy President David Mabuza says conducting lifestyle audits against ministers and MPs was not political grandstanding.

He said President Cyril Ramaphosa announced this as a measure to fight corruption from the top.

This followed the announcement by Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation Address last month that lifestyle audits will be conducted from the top echelons of government down to employees of the state.

In his maiden question and answer session in the National Council of Provinces on Wednesday, Mabuza said the state was still committed to do this.

The starting point is for all cabinet members to undergo lifestyle audits. MPs, officials in departments and non-executive directors in state-owned entities will have to do it.

Mabuza said the government would not compromise on this and it has to be done in an attempt to crack down on corruption in the state.

“This announcement by the president is not grandstanding, but a problem. Lifestyle audits must be done because there is growing corruption,” said Mabuza.

“It is not an exercise to please. It’s an exercise needed by South Africa so that good governance can be projected and upheld so that those who lead can lead by good example.

“All members of the national executive will have to undergo lifestyle audits. With regard to rolling this out to MPs, that is the prerogative of the head of state,” he said.

Mabuza said the issue of corruption was not a myth, but a reality. This was evident in the rampant corruption at Eskom.

The evidence that has been made available in the public cannot be dismissed. It was a fact that corruption was all over the state and its entities and needed to be dealt with, he said.

Ramaphosa said lifestyle audits would start with the cabinet. A few years ago Cosatu proposed lifestyle audits for all politicians.

Civil society also called on the ANC-led government to conduct lifestyle audits for its officials and leaders.

Although Ramaphosa had not set deadlines for this, Mabuza insisted it would happen. Every year, MPs and cabinet members are required to disclose their financial interests to Parliament.

This exercise is overseen by the joint ethics committee.

If any cabinet member or MP is found to have failed to submit their financial disclosures, they will be sanctioned by the committee.

Opposition parties in the national council told Mabuza that rampant corruption in the state required serious attention.

They wanted to know how soon the lifestyle audits would be implemented to prevent politicians from becoming involved in any dodgy deals.

Pretoria News