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Govt implements lifestyle audits

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The compulsory lifestyle audits that were introduced in April last year are already being implemented across the public service space.

Public Service and Administration, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo recently confirmed that by the end of January 2022, there were national and provincial departments that have reported to the DPSA that they either completed lifestyle audits or were in the process of conducting lifestyle audits.

She said the 15 national departments that conducted the lifestyle audits managed to verify the assets of designated employees who declared on the eDisclosure system.

This is a requirement in terms of the Guide on implementing lifestyle audits in the public service which enables departments to identity conflicts of interests such as employees performing other remunerative work or employees conducting business with the state and unexplained wealth which will be reported to the police for criminal investigation.

The list of the 15 national departments that conducted lifestyle audits are as follows:

  • Communications and Digital Technologies;
  • Cooperative Governance;
  • Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries;
  • Human Settlements;
  • International Relations and Cooperation;
  • National School of Government;
  • Office of the Chief Justice;
  • Office of the Public Service Commission;
  • Public Enterprises;
  • Public Service and Administration;
  • Public Works and Infrastructure;
  • Small Business Development;
  • Social Development;
  • South African Police Service; and
  • Trade, Industry and Competition.

The Department of Basic Education was in the process of conducting lifestyle audits, while six (6) of the nine provincial governments completed or were in the process of completing lifestyle audits.

The six provincial governments 

  • Kwa-Zulu Natal: Arts and Culture; Economic Development; Tourism and environmental Affairs (not completed); Human Settlements; Office of the Premier (still in progress); Provincial Treasury; and Public Works.
  • Gauteng: Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation.
  • North West: Health (in progress).
  • Eastern Cape: Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs; Office of the Premier.
  • Northern Cape: Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (SMS completed, rest in progress), Cooperative Governance (in progress), Human Settlements and Traditional Affairs.
  • Western Cape: Cultural Affairs and Sport, Economic Development and Tourism, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Health, Provincial Treasury.
  • Mpumalanga: Health requested extension to submit at the end of March 2022.03.11

The Department of Small Business Development reported that seven (7) employees were investigated for fraud of which five (5) were disciplined and dismissed.

The department indicated that the process started long before the compulsory lifestyle audits were introduced.

The Human Settlements department reported that one (1) SMS member was referred for an investigation for the possible violation of the law against public servants conducting business with the state.

The provincial department of Health in the Western Cape referred 743 non-SMS members to be investigated for the non-disclosure of assets, vehicles and companies.

The provincial Treasury in the Western Cape referred three (3) SMS members to be investigated for possible conflict of interest and two cases of possible conducting of other remunerative work without the requisite authorisation.

Minister Dlodlo said: “progress regarding investigations and completion of lifestyle audits are being monitored and interventions taken where necessary as part of ensuring the building of an ethical public service.”