oa African Journal of Public Affairs - The South African public service and the ethical problematiques  : the discipline and practice - talking different tongues - research

Volume 10 Number 4
  • ISSN : 1997-7441



This article purport to argue that unethical conduct in delivering public service is a problem because training for government employment is different from the practical public administration environment. Ethics in public administration has been a concern in many academic writings and government commissions. Academic writings made many suggestions, as well as NGO’s and government Commissions suggesting solutions that made little impact to solve ethical problems within the public service. Thus far legislative frameworks to combat unethical practices in the public service remain ineffective as they are undermined by those meant to respect and implement them without fear of victimisation. This article is conceptual in nature and uses literature to argue that until politicians are held accountable and made to respect the rule of law in public administration, the unethical conduct will continue as an unresolved problem in the public service. Thus far, students of Public Administration are taught the public administration systems and compliance that would lead to achievement of goals in the public service. But on the contrary, when in the practical public service, political instructions render what they have learned is irrelevant. This article conclude that a need arises for the government to ensure that practical knowledge acquired by students of public administration on respect for rule of law should be praticalised in the public administration environment.

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