This article examines the relationship between the public sociology of ethics, public
administration and corruption. The significance of public sociology in understanding
ethics, ethical dilemmas and possible solutions in the municipal sphere is explored
by articulating the relationships between different areas of knowledge created
through social science research and public administration realities, as exemplified
in a South African municipal case study.
In this context, the relationships between human behavioural elements and the
concomitant psychological and sociological considerations in public administration
are important, because the reality is that, despite the fact South Africa has abundant
anti-corruption legislation and institutions, the plague of corruption is increasing.
Hence, the article provides a number of steps to creating and implementing an
ethical code that can make a positive difference to municipalities and other state
institutions, and that can serve as a shield against corrupt practices. These steps are
rooted in ethical awareness, ethical reasoning and consciousness, the development
of skills combined with practice, and decisive ethical action.