Government has noted media reports which highlight the private business interests of President Jacob Zuma and members of the executive. To this end, Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Members of Parliament have until August 15 to make full declarations of their business interests to Parliament.
Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi, said, “There is nothing wrong with members of the executive having personal or private financial or business interests, as long as they are not in conflict of interest. The Ministers are not denying their business stakes, however as indicated in the media some Ministers and Deputy Ministers are in the process of resigning their directorships. Some of these companies are not even active but are still listed. ”
The Executive Members Ethics Act, and the Ministerial Handbook are the key frameworks within which members of the executive operate. “The purpose of the disclosure is to ensure that the officials serve the public in a fair and transparent manner and to hold them accountable for their exercise of power. The Act also makes provision for the Public Protector to investigate any alleged breach of the code of ethics on receipt of a complaint,” said Muthambi.
In accordance with the Ministerial Handbook a Cabinet member must declare any personal or private financial or business interest and must withdraw from the proceedings of any committee of the Cabinet or an Executive Council considering a matter in which the member may have an interest in, unless the President decides that the member’s interest is trivial or not relevant. This includes any financial or business interest which, to the member’s knowledge, the member’s spouse, or permanent companion or family member has.
Muthambi said, “If there is a conflict of interest, the member must dispose of such interest or place its administration under the control of an independent, professional person or agency. The Ministerial Handbook clearly states that members may not receive remuneration for any work or service other than for the performance of their functions as members, and should not use their position or any information entrusted to them, to enrich themselves or improperly benefit any other person.”
“As government we are dedicated to moving South Africa forward and remain committed to complying with the annual declaration, in line with the prescribed rules and regulations,” said Muthambi.
Issued by Department of Communications
Source : South African Government