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South Africa – Parliament, Thursday, 3 June 2021 – The Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration resolved to allow its members to take the Ease of Doing Business Bill to their political parties for deliberations on it first, before the committee can process the Bill. Mr Henrol Kruger introduced the private members Bill and briefed the committee on the Ease of Doing Business Bill.

The Bill seeks to create capacity in government to measure, control and reduce the socio-economic impact of regulatory burdens on small, medium and micro enterprises. It further seeks to ensure not only the consideration of multiple options by organs of state to achieve their objectives, but also reduce the red tape and associated costs when conducting business.

The Bill proposes an establishment of an administrative unit to assist government, Members of Parliament (MPs), portfolio and select committees and regulatory bodies.

The committee on Wednesday received a presentation from the Public Service Commission (PSC) on the Financial Misconduct report for the 2019/20 financial year. The committee expressed concerns over the high number of disciplinary cases currently being dealt with, and the low number of completed disciplinary cases.

The committee further noted that 4 out of 165 government departments failed to submit their annual reports. Those departments include the Office of the Premier in the North West Province and the State Security Agency. Whilst the committee acknowledges the implementation of Section 100 Intervention in the North West Province, it called for the imposition of consequence management to those departments and entities who failed to submit their annual reports on time.

The committee noted that 61 government departments reported that they had completed a total of 530 disciplinary proceedings in the current financial year. It has also noted that 57 employees were discharged on grounds of misconduct. It agreed that sanctions imposed on lower level employees were more stringent than those imposed on Senior Management Service (SMS) officials.

The committee has noted that in 2019 and in September 2020, it received similar reports and had asked for specific details such as names of the perpetrators and told the PSC to name and shame them.

The PSC was thanked by the committee for its honesty in reporting financial misconduct. Also, the committee has noted that the PSC is like the Auditor General (AG) , its findings are final according to chapter 10 , Section 196 of the Constitution of South Africa.

The committee will invite the Special Investigative Unit (SIU), Hawks, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), South African Revenue Service (Sars), and the South African Police Service (Saps) to understand the reasons for cases that do not reach the courts including the military court.

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