6 December 2018

South Africa: PSC Receives 472 Corruption Cases

The Public Service Commission (PSC) has received a total of 472 complaints of alleged corruption during the first and second quarters of 2018/2019 through the national anti-corruption hotline.

"A total of 186 complaints were reported and referred to departments during the first quarter. In the second quarter, a total of 286 case reports were generated and referred to departments for further investigation," PSC Commissioner Michael Seloane said.

Addressing a media briefing on the commission's quarterly bulletin, Seloane said the top six categories of alleged corruption reported through the national anti-corruption hotline during the second quarter of the 2018/2019 were related to social grant fraud, appointment irregularities, unethical behaviour, poor service delivery, fraud and bribery as well as procurement irregularities.

The PSC on Thursday briefed members of the media on its quarterly bulletin titled the Pulse of the Public Service at a media briefing in Tshwane. The bulletin covers the period 01 July to 30 September 2018.

"There were 180 complaints of social grant fraud that were reported to the national anti-corruption hotline. The PSC is of the view that social grant fraud is a cause for concern in the country since money allocated for poor people are not utilised for an intended purpose," Seloane said.

He said there were 27 complaints of appointment irregularities that were reported through the national anti-corruption hotline.

"The major factors that had led to irregular appointment cases were non-compliance with departmental recruitment and selection policies and procedures. The national anti-corruption hotline received 27 complaints of unethical behaviour such as employees being absent from duty and not submitting leave forms," Seloane said.

A total of 12 cases regarding complaints of fraud and bribery were received. These include traffic officials receiving bribes from motorists and officials receiving kickbacks from members of the public in order to obtain government tenders.

The national anti-corruption hotline further received a total of 10 complaints for procurement irregularities.

These cases involve collusion between a person involved in the awarding of a tender and an associate who is often a family member of a friend seeking to win the tender.

In addition, the PSC receives complaints through other means such as the legislature, executive authorities, public servants and members of the public.

"During the second quarter, 171 complaints were lodged with the PSC. Of the 171 complaints lodged, 35 (20%) were finalised and the 136 (80%) were pending," Seloane said.

Conflict of interest

He said out of a total of 10 242 Senior Management Services (SMS) members in the national and provincial departments, only 9 713 (95%) financial disclosure forms were submitted to the PSC by the due date of 31 May 2018.

"The national departments submitted 5 567 (93%) of the financial disclosure forms, 13 of which were submitted manually. The total number of financial disclosure forms that were expected from national departments was 5 993," Seloane said.

SMS members in the provincial departments submitted all of the 4 146 financial disclosure forms that were received by the due date of 31 May 2018.

Furthermore, a total of 468 (5%) SMS members both in national and provincial departments disclosed their financial interests as required but the relevant heads of department and/or executive assistants failed to submit copies of the forms to the PSC by the due date of 31 May 2018.

"Out of a total of 10 267 SMS members in the Public Service, 1 925 (19%) were involved in activities such as directorship in companies that could be construed as posing potential conflicts of interest. Only 17 were engaged in activities that could be construed as posing actual conflicts of interest," he said.

Seloane said a total of 333 SMS members in the public service were engaged in other remunerated work.

"The total amount generated by these SMS members through other remunerated work was R29 413 385.41. A total of 481 SMS members in both the national and provincial departments received gifts and/or sponsorships during the period under review.

"The total value of gifts and/or sponsorships received by these SMS members amounted to R7 665 557.82," he said.

The Public Service Commission's Selena Nkosi said the national anti-corruption hotline was effective because of the cases that departments and commissions investigates, there are dismissals, criminal cases are opened and some officials are demoted.

"Since its inception (2004) until 30 October 2018, a total of 1 740 officials were dismissed from the public service, 450 officials were fined, 140 officials were demoted, 927 officials were given final written warnings and 395 officials were criminally prosecuted," Nkosi said.

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