Stop political interference in the public service now!

Roy Jankielsohn MPL

DA MPL in the Free State Provincial Legislature

Honourable Speaker, our officials working in our legislature, provincial departments, and municipalities should be regarded as assets to the province. They should be allowed the freedom and protection to serve the public in an environment that is secure from coercion and interference.

The DA is concerned by continuous reports from public officials at both provincial and local government about political interference in their work.

Officials are constantly harassed by their superiors as well as ANC politicians who put pressure on them to do political work for the ANC, to appoint and promote ANC cadres, including friends and family members of cadres, and to award lucrative contracts to individuals and companies that they approve of. They often live in constant fear for their jobs and their safety if they do not comply with such requests.

Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers actively do ANC election work, social development workers are actively involved in abusing the distribution of food parcels and other services to promote the ANC, and public officials are threatened if they do not show active support for the ANC.

I would like to inform all public officials in the Free State that, under a DA government in this province, action will be taken against politicians who coerce or threaten them for political purposes, public officials will receive opportunities for further education and training, and all promotions and appointments will be carried out fairly and on merit. Sexual and other forms of harassment at work will be dealt with harshly within the framework of the law.

Speaker, the DA cherishes all those dedicated public servants who work diligently to serve the public of the Free State and the country. The DA knows that a caring government is only as effective as its civil service.