19 November 2009
South Africa’s Cabinet has set up a new anti-corruption inter-ministerial committee to assess how the government can deal effectively with corruption in the country’s public service.
Briefing journalists in Pretoria after the Cabinet’s meeting on Wednesday, government spokesman Themba Maseko said the team would come up with new and “extraordinary” ways of tackling corruption at all levels of government.
“We want to deal decisively with the perception that corruption is on the rise in the country, and this committee will be set up to do all that is necessary to ensure that decisive action is taken against all those involved in corruption.”
Maseko said the committee would look at all past reports by the Public Service Commission on corruption, as well as other reports, to see what action was taken against people involved in corrupt practices involving public funds.
“South Africa takes very strong exception to corruption, as this is a matter that has a negative impact on the country’s reputation,” he said, warning state employees to think twice before they commited a crime.
“Strong action will be taken against all those involved in corruption.”
The committee will be chaired by Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane.
Other members will include the ministers of public service and administration, finance, local government, and social development, as well as representatives from the government’s security cluster.
The committee will present a report and action plan at the January Cabinet lekgotla.
Meanwhile, Maseko said the Cabinet hoped that all those involved in defrauding the Department of Correctional Services would face “the full force of the law”. South Africa’s Special Investigative Unit (SIU) has uncovered fraud running into millions of rands at the department.