Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia De Lille says government employees doing business with the state will face the music. She says they’re violating the law and they will now be charged criminally or may face civil claims.

She has warned civil servants in her department to stop the practise immediately. De Lille says in her department alone more than 3700 employees are doing business with the state.

This is despite Public Service Regulations of 2016 prohibiting them from doing so.

The minister says government will use all options available to crack down on the culprits.

” We can pursue civil litigation and we can approach the Special Investigating Unit to use the new civil litigation tribunal and it’s going very quickly. Nowadays we can also opt for criminal litigation and lay charges with the police.”

The Public Service Watchdog says the absence of consequence is the reason civil servants disregard the law.

Director of Accountability Monitor at Rhodes University Jay Kruuse says: “It’s high time that people are not just suspended but are actually appearing before a disciplinary inquiry and there is an outcome there.”

Kruuse says the number of government employees doing business with the government continues to increase despite regulations.

He says only decisive and clear leadership will turn the situation around.

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