Pretoria – Public Service and Administration Minister, Advocate Ngoako Ramatlhodi, has condemned the abuse of state resources by some public servants.
Minister Ramatlhodi said all public servants must at all times comply with the Public Service Code of Conduct and provisions of the Service Charter.
“The Public Service Code of Conduct requires that public servants should be honest and accountable in dealing with public funds and use the Public Service’s property and other resources effectively, efficiently and only for authorised official purposes,” he said.
He said state resources such as laptops, telephones, cellphones and even data – which are meant to execute official duties – cannot be utilised to undermine and contravene the letter and spirit of the Code of Conduct without any consequences.
“This abuse of state resources is not only unethical behaviour but also a misconduct. These misbehaving public servants abuse time which could be effectively utilised to enhance service delivery to engage in their own private matters, which brings the public service into disrepute,” Minister Ramatlhodi said.
He warned public servants, saying that abuse of state resources will not be tolerated in the public service and the necessary disciplinary steps will be instituted to curb such a conduct.
The Minister has called upon accounting officers in government departments to enforce compliance of the Code of Conduct without fear or favour and to institute disciplinary action indiscriminately against public servants who do not comply.
“In terms of the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council Resolution 2 of 1999, all the employees in the Public Service have the responsibility to comply with the prescribed Code of Conduct.
“As this forms the main basis on which pro-active, corrective and even disciplinary action rests, the government departments must do everything possible to ensure that the contents of the Code of Conduct are known to all employees,” he said.
Minister Ramatlhodi has reminded public servants about Chapter 10 of the Constitution of South Africa, which requires the public service, amongst others, to maintain and promote a high standard of professional ethics, promote efficient, economic and effective use of resources, and is accountable for its actions.
“Therefore, whether a public servant engages the public through the media or any public platform, his or her behaviour must conform to what the highest law in our country expects of them,” he said.
He said the public service will not be allowed to degenerate in its moral fibre because of a few public servants who conduct themselves unprofessionally.