n Journal of Public Administration - Ethical training for effective anti-corruption systems in the South African public service

Volume 48, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



Various legislation, policies, and strategies have been formulated since the advent of the democratic dispensation as an attempt to address the problem of unethical behaviour in the South African public sector. The discourse on ethics in the South African public service recognises undoubtedly that South Africa has a sound legislative and policy framework for promoting professional and ethical conduct. The (1996), as the supreme law of the country, lays the foundation for the promotion of professional and ethical behaviour. To this end, it stipulates in section 195 (a) that "public administration must be accountable and a high standard of professional ethics must be promoted and maintained". In spite of all these, the ethical conduct of most public servants remains questionable. Constitutional bodies charged with the responsibility to promote good governance such as the Public Protector, Auditor General and Public Service Commission continue to raise concerns about the unethical conduct in the South African public sector. This is evident as media reports are ever abuzz with the concerns of unethical behaviour of public officials. It is for this reason that the objective of this paper is to analyse the existing literature on ethics in the South African public service in order to highlight the significance of ethical training as a cornerstone for an effective anti-corruption system. The paper suggest that a thorough and more rigorous ethical training is crucial if the current attempts aimed at promoting ethical behaviour are to be successful.

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