Ramaphosa: Over 11 000 civil servants to go through lifestyle audits

Ramaphosa: Over 11 000 civil servants to go through lifestyle audits

President Ramaphosa’s Announcement on Lifestyle Audits

As of March 2023, President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed that more than 11,000 public servants in the national government have undergone lifestyle audits. This announcement was made during his appearance before Members of the National Assembly, where he responded to questions on September 5.

Response to Democratic Alliance Leader’s Query

In response to a question posed by Democratic Alliance leader John Steenhuisen regarding the completion of lifestyle audits on Members of the Executive, President Ramaphosa clarified that lifestyle audits for public servants have been mandatory since 2021.

Institutional Process for Lifestyle Audits

The President outlined that the lifestyle audit process for Members of the Executive is managed by the Office of the Director-General in the Presidency and the Secretary of Cabinet. This institutional initiation of the process took place toward the end of 2022. Earlier in the same year, President Ramaphosa sent letters to the Deputy President, Ministers, and Deputy Ministers, requesting their written consent for the audit process to ensure its legitimacy and legality.

He noted that he received similar letters signed by the Director-General and Secretary of Cabinet. All Members of the Executive, including himself, submitted consent forms for the nationally-driven lifestyle audit process.

Challenges and Delays in Implementation

President Ramaphosa acknowledged that the lifestyle audit implementation faced delays due to a change in the service provider. However, he expressed optimism that the project’s implementation would be completed by the end of the current financial year.

IFP’s Perspective on the Lifestyle Audit

Mkhuleko Hlengwa, Member of the National Assembly for the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), welcomed the decision to conduct lifestyle audits. However, he raised concerns about capacity issues and suggested that the audits should run concurrently with the 2014 Cabinet decision, which required vetting of executives in State-owned enterprises (SOEs) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) practitioners.

Addressing Delays in Vetting Process

President Ramaphosa acknowledged the lengthy process of vetting, which sometimes results in individuals leaving the public service without being vetted. He emphasized the need to expedite this process and explore ways to reduce delays. The President noted that Minister Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, responsible for the State Security Agency, is actively addressing this matter.

Lifestyle Audits for All

President Ramaphosa dispelled the notion that only public servants are subjected to lifestyle audits. He reiterated that Members of the Executive are also undergoing these audits. He emphasized the comprehensive and intrusive nature of the audits, which delve into private details of individuals’ lives, and the necessity to follow proper processes to arrive at the desired conclusions.

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