One of the noblest functions of government is securing for its citizens their
individual and collective well-being. This can be achieved through honouring and
safeguarding human dignity and the constructive mediation between individual
freedoms and collective action. When government succeeds this assures the social
and ecological integrity of the community.
In every vocation, there is both the need and call for the people within that
vocation to conform their behaviour to certain ethical standards. Ethics is the code
of conduct these professionals have adopted in order to regulate the practice of
their profession. However, ethics also reaches a level of unstated moral principles
and a sense of what is right and wrong.
A need exists for ethical and transparent public sector procurement management
on all spheres of government in contemporary South Africa. Evidence hereof is
found in official documents, court cases and in the popular press.
Prescriptions governing ethical behaviour in public sector procurement peculiar
to South Africa and the basic normative criteria are, interalia, aspects reviewed
and proposed in this article to strengthen the need for the determination and
implementation of an ethical basis to ensure effective and efficient public sector
Firstly, this article will focus on describing and explaining the nature and meaning
of public sector ethics. Secondly, prescriptions’ governing ethical behaviour in
public sector procurement management in South Africa since democracy, 1994
with special reference to the local sphere of government is provided. Thirdly, a brief
overview of existing general public procurement guidelines as established by the
South African Revenue Service is discussed. Fourthly, basic normative criteria are
proposed to establish effective, efficient and economical public sector procurement
followed by a conclusive summary.