Minister Senzo Mchunu speaking at the PSC Dialogue

The Minister for the Public Service and Administration, Mr Senzo Mchunu, said public servants who fail the morality and ethics test, will have to be reminded once appointed, not to expect mercy if they do not live up to the expectations of the Sixth Administration.

Public Service Commission Director-General, Dr Dovhani Mamphiswana, said public servants must go an extra mile in rendering quality services to citizens

He was speaking at the Public Service Commission (PSC) Dialogue organised in partnership with UNISA through the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute and the European Union (EU) today, themed, “Values-Driven Public Sector: Building State Capacity through Professional Ethics and Integrity”.

The objective of the Dialogue is to create a platform for knowledge building and experience sharing between like-minded EU and SA stakeholders on the critical challenges and opportunities related to strengthening ethics and integrity in the public service and embodying constitutional values.

The Minister said the PSC is mandated by Section 196 of the Constitution to, among others, promote the values and principles set out in section 195 throughout the public service.

“We will make sure that not a single person who is implicated in acts of corruption will be protected, as we are on a mission to restore values of our Constitution, whose Section 195 states, among others, that public administration must be accountable.

“It is no doubt that we are inheriting an administration that faces a variety of challenges, among them, is deeply-entrenched corruption, which undermines our efforts in providing service delivery to the people.

“This also destroys the South African culture and sabotages our goals of building a capable State that we set ourselves in 1994, which set us on a trajectory to be a beacon of hope for Africa and the world.

“It is, therefore, our firm view that we need to re-inculcate the culture of cleansing our State organs of corruption and beneficiaries thereof.”

Delegates who attended the dialouge

The Minister said public servants must remember that theirs is a calling and not just a job.  “This applies to both of us who are elected and employed based on skills acquired through academic training.

“It is upon each and every one of us to ensure that we walk this journey of the reconstruction and development of our souls to gauge whether we do pass the morality and ethics tests, to gauge whether we do qualify to be public servants,” he said.

This is also in line with President Ramaphosa State of the Nation Address that, “We are determined to build a society defined by decency and integrity that does not tolerate the plunder of public resources nor the theft by corporate criminals of the hard-earned savings of ordinary people.”

He said the Dialogue should be a springboard to assist with learning good practices in the African continent, Europe and anywhere else in the world.

“We must strengthen our partnerships in order to ensure that we continuously set very high standards for the Public Service so that our people receive the service they deserve”.

Delegates to the dialogue

He said the National School of Government will soon announce programmes to be put in place, which are a pre-requisite for senior public servants.  This is an effort to ensure that government attracts the best public servants who are committed to serving citizens with commitment.

He said during the Public Service Month in September, public servants embarked on activities to unblocking the bottlenecks and red-tape in the delivery of services and ensuring that the systems and infrastructure are working and that public resources are used efficiently to the benefit of the citizens.

“Government is also establishing a fully-fledged Public Administration Ethics Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit that will be responsible for institutionalizing ethics and professional conduct of employees in the Public Administration as is required in terms of section 195 of the Constitution.


This will be done through improving the management of ethics, integrity and discipline in the public administration through policy development, and measures that include advocacy, monitoring, evaluation, researching and investigation of ethics, integrity, conduct and discipline of employees in the public administration.

In terms of the Public Administration Management Act (PAMA), 2014, the unit’s functions are to provide technical assistance and support to institutions in all spheres of government regarding the management of ethics, integrity and disciplinary matters relating to misconduct in the public administration.

It is also tasked with developing norms and standards on integrity, ethics, conduct and discipline in the public administration and to build capacity within institutions to initiate and institute disciplinary proceedings into misconduct with a focus on SMS and Executive Managers.

The unit will also strengthen government oversight of ethics, integrity and discipline, and where necessary, in cases where systemic weaknesses are identified, to intervene to promote and enhance good ethics and integrity within the public administration and cooperate with other institutions and organs of state to fulfil its functions under this section.


“One could also point out that the PAMA requires the establishment of Ethics Committees and the designation of Ethics Officers in all government departments. This requirement seems to have a significant impact as shown in the 2018 Public Sector Ethics Survey, conducted by The Ethics Institute in partnership with DPSA, CoGTA and SALGA.  It indicates a significant increase in awareness of ethics officers, and of public servants receiving ethics training.  However, this training still needs to translate into a change in culture,” the Minister said.

On the issue of Gender-Based Violence, the Minister called on public servants to fight the scourge. “As Government, we seriously condemn attacks on women and children as it is against the law and human rights culture as enshrined in the Constitution.

Regarding attacks on foreign nationals, the Minister said public servants need to ask themselves how much are they contributing towards weakening the system through accepting bribes from undocumented foreigners, some of whom are criminals who are looking for opportunities to spread tentacles of their criminal enterprise.


“Today, a country that was once viewed as a beacon of hope for all of us in the continent and the world, is branded as xenophobic, due to recklessness and greed by just a handful of public servants.

“We must stand up and say NOT IN OUR NAME!’  We must not protect corrupt public servants, whether they are our friends or relatives.  In the same vein, we must also fight criminality, whether perpetrators are South African or foreigners,” Minister Mchunu said.