The Constitution envisions a public administration that maintains a high standard of professional ethics, is developmentally orientated, and treats citizens in a fair and equitable way, without bias. Many public servants in South Africa have worked hard to support this vision, but corruption in the South African state over the past ten to fifteen years has arguably reached endemic levels. This means that corruption and impropriety are not simply observable in particular incidences; they seem to have become part of the state’s institutional fabric, including within the public service. The most prominent media scandals have covered high levels of corruption and ‘state capture’ at the major state-owned enterprises (SOEs) such as Eskom and Transnet, often because of the large amounts of money involved. But these phenomena have also occurred within the public service.
This is an information Toolkit for Public Servants who believe they have witnessed corruption or unethical conduct, or have been asked to commit unlawful or unethical acts. It was produced with financial support from the Open Society Foundation for South Africa (OSF).