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DA: Statement by Athol Trollip, Democratic Alliance Parliamentary leader, welcoming Baloyi’s proposal (26/11/2010)

26th November 2010


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The DA welcomes yesterday’s announcement by Minister of Public Service and Administration, Richard Baloyi, that his department will be developing legislation to implement a cooling off period for senior public service officials. It is precisely such measures that the DA recommended be implemented for cabinet ministers earlier this month. 

The legislation proposed by Minister Baloyi seeks to prevent officials from abusing their position of influence and approving government deals for companies that they join after leaving office. While the DA commends this proposal, it is essential that clear time frames are laid down to ensure that this initiative does not become another example of empty ANC government rhetoric. 

President Zuma needs to follow the example set by the public service and implement similar regulations for cabinet ministers. This is especially so given that ministers are the political heads of the government departments, and should not only have to abide by the same rules as public service officials, but should be setting the example in this regard.

The importance of such regulation has increased given the recent cabinet changes, which saw the most dramatic reshuffle of the executive between elections since 1994. 

On the 16 November 2010, I submitted a letter to President Zuma, urging him to add a clause concerning a “cooling off” period to all ministerial performance agreements. This proposed addition seeks to underline that accepting to serve in cabinet brings with it an ethical commitment that is the epitome of public office.

The DA is currently drafting a Private Member’s Bill that will propose amendments to the Executive Ethics Code, to ensure that cabinet ministers are subject to the same cooling off period regulations as public service officials.




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