Public Service Minister Senzo Mchunu. File photo: Sibonelo Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA).
The government’s moves to institute lifestyle audits on public servants seem far from taking place, as the Ethics Enforcement Unit within the Department of Public Service and Administration is still being staffed.

This emerged in a written response from Public Service and Administration Minister Senzo Mchunu, to a parliamentary question from the DA’s Leon Schreiber.

Schreiber had asked if the Public Service and Administration Department planned to conduct lifestyle audits of Cabinet members and director-generals.

Since coming into office, President Cyril Ramaphosa undertook to tackle corruption and state capture, saying they would conduct lifestyle audits of all people who occupied positions of responsibility, starting with the Cabinet.

In August last year, the National Assembly heard that Ramaphosa established a technical team, under the leadership of the director-general in the Presidency, to explore options to conduct of lifestyle audits.

In his written response, Mchunu said his department was still forging ahead with setting up an Ethics Enforcement Unit to conduct audits. Mchunu also said his department was not mandated to conduct lifestyle audits on members of the executive.

“The newly established Public Administration Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit, called the Ethics Enforcement Unit, is to conduct ethics profiles, which include lifestyle audits, and includes all employees in the public administration, including directors-general.”

Mchunu also said the unit was being incubated in his department, with efforts under way to fund and staff it properly. Two weeks ago, he told the National Assembly, during his Budget vote speech, that they would continue with the work of establishing the ethics enforcement unit.

Political Bureau