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South Africa's Cabinet Undergoes Lifestyle Audits Led by the Presidency's DG

Published March 20, 2024
2 months ago


In a significant move to reinforce transparency and accountability within the South African government, President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced that the much-anticipated lifestyle audits of cabinet members have finally commenced. The initiative, which aims to scrutinize the lifestyle patterns of government officials in comparison to their known income streams, is being spearheaded by the director-general in the Presidency, Phindile Baleni.


Addressing members of parliament on Tuesday, President Ramaphosa elucidated that the audits, initially facing several delays, are now firmly on track. The initiative is focused on collecting extensive information, much of which is already under the management of Baleni, due to her role in overseeing the interests of cabinet members. Ramaphosa emphasized that Baleni's office is the appropriate institution for administrating these audits thanks to her pre-existing access to the necessary data.


Initially, the government had outsourced the task. However, they determined that the approach did not meet the desired thoroughness and effectiveness. Now, with adequate systems, processes, and methodologies in place, alongside experienced personnel, they expect the audits will bring the required information to light. This practice marks the first time the national government has conducted such checks on the executive arm.


The president also acknowledged the concern raised by DA leader John Steenhuisen, reminding him that the promise of lifestyle audits dates back to 2018. In response, Ramaphosa assured him that the current process is meticulous and well-structured, arguing it will set a strong precedent for future administrations.


Upon completion of the audits, the director-general will determine the most suitable method to communicate the findings. Ramaphosa reiterated that any executive member found guilty of mismanagement or illicit behavior will be held accountable and face the full extent of the law. This statement comes in the face of criticism for allowing untoward behavior from members of the cabinet during his tenure.


This announcement is a pivotal step towards reinforcing a culture of probity and rectitude within the South African government and serves to underline the current administration's commitment to addressing corruption and fostering a moral code within its ranks.



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