In an ideal world there would be an ideal solution for two of SA’s pressing problems: ending corruption, particularly on coronavirus procurement contracts; and reducing the public-sector pay burden.

The solution would be to enforce the plethora of laws and regulations designed to prevent public servants contracting with the state, offering benefits to friends and family, or accepting bribes.

Clamp down, starting with prosecutions of a few prominent offenders, and ensure that every public servant knows they are being watched and will go to jail if they try anything wrong.

For the looters and tenderpreneurs, government employ without these easy pickings would no longer be attractive. Thousands would leave.

The result would be a public service that is both smaller and more honest. But only in an ideal world.

Michael Acott
Cape Town

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