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Media Statement on the protection of Whistleblowers

13 September 2018

Whistleblowing is recognised as an effective mechanism for detecting discrimination, corruption, and fraud.  Whistleblowers, however, often face huge risks and make enormous sacrifices when they blow the whistle about irregularities in the workplace.

On 2 August 2017, the Protected Disclosures Amendment Act, 5 of 2017 (“the Amendment Act”), became law.  This Amendment Act amended numerous provisions of, and inserted new provisions in, the Protected Disclosures Act, 26 of 2000.  This was done in order to provide greater protection to persons who make protected disclosures about irregularities in the workplace.  These persons, or whistleblowers, as they are often called, need all the protection and assistance possible when they decide to expose wrong-doing.  One of the changes to the Act brought about by the 2017 amendments is a broadening of the list of bodies or institutions to whom disclosures may be made in terms of section 8 of the Act.

The amended section 8 provides that a protected disclosure may be made by an employee or worker to the Public Protector, the South African Human Rights Commission, the Commission for Gender Equality, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, the Public Service Commission, the Auditor-General or a person or body prescribed by regulation for purposes of section 8 of the Act.  The focus of this media statement is, however, on the new regulations made by the Minister which are being published in the Gazette on Friday, 14 September 2018.  These regulations include numerous other bodies to which whistleblowers can turn to report improprieties in the workplace

It is important to note that it is not only financial irregularities that can be reported.  The Act allows protected disclosures to be made on the following: 
(a)       That a criminal offence has been committed, is being committed or is likely to be committed.
(b)       That a person has failed, is failing or is likely to fail, to comply with any legal obligation.
(c)        That a miscarriage of justice has occurred, is occurring or is likely to occur.
(d)       That the health or safety of an individual has been, is being or likely to be endangered.
(e)       That the environment has been, is being or is likely to be damaged.
(f)        Unfair discrimination as contemplated in Chapter II of the Employment Equity Act, 1998 or the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, 2000.
(g)       That any matter referred to above has been, is being or is likely to be deliberately concealed.

The Regulations, which will be made available on the Department’s website (www.justice.gov.za), provide that a disclosure can, in addition to the persons and bodies listed in section 8 of the Act, also be made to the persons or bodies listed in the regulations.  If an employee or worker intends to make a disclosure of an impropriety which is based upon the same facts to two or more persons or bodies he or she must inform each person or body to whom such a disclosure is made of that fact.

The list of persons and bodies to whom reports can now be made and the matters these bodies ordinarily deal with are set out below.  Pending the amendment of the Guidelines made under section 10(4) of the Protected Disclosures Act to reflect the contact particulars of these bodies, they are also set out below:


Person/body to whom or which disclosure can be made

Description of matters ordinarily dealt with by person/body

Contact details

Anti-Intimidation and Ethical Practices Forum

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety as observed by professionals in their work environment.

P O Box 2290  
Bedfordview
2008
www.aepf.co.za


Chairpersons of Municipal Councils

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety which has a bearing on a Municipal Council.

P O Box 2094
Pretoria
0001
(012) 369 8000 (tel)
(012) 369 8001 (fax)


Competition Commission

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to the promotion and maintenance of competition in South Africa, including the control and evaluation of mergers, the investigation and prosecution of price fixing, fixing of trading conditions, market allocation, collusive tendering, restricted vertical practices and abuse of dominant positions.

Private Bag X 23
Lynwood Ridge
0040
(012) 394 3200/394 3328 (tel)
(012) 394 0166 (fax)


Council for Debt Collectors

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to the collection of debts.

P O Box 35629
Menlo Park
0102
(012) 804 9808 (tel)
(012) 804 0744 (fax)


Electoral Commission of South Africa

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to free and fair elections of national, provincial and municipal legislative bodies.

Private Bag X 112
Centurion
0046
(012) 622 5700 (tel)
(012) 622 5784 (fax)


Estate Agency Affairs Board

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regards to the conduct of an estate agent regarding trust monies, and irregular transactions that are being conducted.

Private Bag X10
Benmore
2010
(087) 285 3222 (tel)
eab@eaab.org.za (email)


Executive Authority, as contemplated in the Financial Management of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act, 2009 (Act No. 10 of 2009)

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety which has a bearing on Parliament.

P O Box 15
Cape Town
8000
(021) 403 2911 (tel)
(021) 403 8219 (fax)


Financial and Fiscal Commission

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to—

  1. the equitable division of revenue raised nationally among the national, provincial and local spheres of government;
  2. the determinations of each province’s equitable share of the provincial share of that revenue;  and
  3. any other allocations to provinces, local government or municipalities from the national government’s share of that revenue and any condition on which those allocations may be made.

Private Bag X 69
Halfway House
1685
(011) 207 2300 (tel)
(011) 207 2344 (fax)


Financial Intelligence Centre

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to money laundering activities or the financing of terrorist and related activities.

Private Bag X 177
Centurion
0046
(012) 641 6000 (tel)
(012) 641 6215 (fax)


Financial Sector Conduct Authority and the Prudential Authority

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to financial institutions and the provision of financial services.

P O Box 35655
Menlo Park
0102
(012) 428 8025 (tel)
(012) 346 6941 (fax)

P O Box 427
Pretoria
0001
(012) 399 3911 (tel)
(012) 313 3917 (fax)


Independent Communications Authority of South Africa

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to—

  1. broadcasting in the public interest;
  2. electronic communications in the public interest;  and
  3. postal matters in the public interest.

Private Bag x 10002
Sandton
2146
(011) 566 3000 (tel)
info@icasa.org.za (email)


Independent Police Investigative Directorate

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety by a member of the South African Police Service.

Private Bag X 941
Pretoria
0001
(012) 399 000 (tel)
(012) 426 0408 (fax)


Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to audits performed by registered auditors.

P O Box 8237
Greenstone
1616
(087) 940 8800 (tel)
(087) 940 8877 (fax)


Information Regulator

Any alleged unlawful collection, retention, dissemination or use of personal information by public and private bodies.

Private Bag X 89
Pretoria
0001
(012) 406 4818 (tel)
(086) 500 3351 (fax)


International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to the import or export of goods and customs duties.

Private Bag X 753
Pretoria
0001
(012) 394 3688 (tel)
bramasodi@itac.org.za (email)


Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to the treatment of inmates in correctional centres and the conditions in correctional centres.

Private Bag X 9177
Cape Town
8000
(021) 421 1012 (tel)
(021) 418 1069 (fax)


Judicial Service Commission

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety by a judge of a superior court.

Private Bag X10
Marshall Town
2107
(010) 493 2500 (tel)
enquiries@judiciary.org.za (email)


Magistrates Commission

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety by a magistrate.

P O Box 9096
Pretoria
0001
(012) 325 3951 (tel)
(012) 325 3957 (fax)


National Consumer Commission

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to the social and economic welfare of consumers.

P O Box 36628
Menlo Park
0102
(012) 428 7000 (tel)
(012) 761 3290 (fax)


National Energy Regulator of South Africa

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to the regulation of electricity, piped gas and petroleum pipeline industries.

P O Box 40343
Arcadia
0001
(012) 401 4600 (tel)
(012) 401 4700 (fax)


National Gambling Board

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to matters relating to casinos, racing, gambling and wagering.

Private Bag X 27
Hatfield
0028
(010) 003 3475 (tel)
(086) 618 5729 (fax)


National Prosecuting Authority

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to the institution and execution of prosecutions.

Private Bag X 752
Pretoria
0001
(012) 845 6000 (tel)
(012) 804 7335 (fax)


Office of the Chief Justice

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to the judicial arm of the government.

Private Bag X10
Marshall Town
2107
(010) 493 2500 (tel)
enquiries@judiciary.org.za (email)


Pension Fund Adjudicator

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to pensions or pension funds.

P O Box 580
Menlyn
0063
(012) 748 4000 (tel)
(086) 693 7472 (fax)


Public Administration Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to corruption related misconduct cases in the Public Administration.

Private Bag X 916
Pretoria
0001
(012) 336 1000/1183/1063 (tel)
(012) 336 1831 / 7802 (fax)


Special Investigating Unit

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to the affairs of any State institution.

Private Bag X 844
Silverton
0127
(012) 843 0000 (tel)
(012) 843 0115 (fax)


South African Board for Sheriffs

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety by a sheriff.

P O Box 15223
Vlaeberg
8018
(021) 426 0577 (tel)
(021) 426 2598 (fax)


South African Council for Educators

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety by educators, lecturers or management staff of colleges appointed—

  1. in terms of the Employment of Educators Act, 1998 (Act No. 76 of 1998);
  2. in terms of the South African Schools Act, 1996 (Act No. 84 of 1996);
  3. in terms of the Further Education and Training Colleges Act, 2006 (Act No. 16 of 2006);
  4. in terms of the Public Service Act, 1994 (Proclamation 103 of 1994);
  5. at an independent school; or
  6. at an adult learning centre.

Private Bag X 127
Centurion
0046
(012) 663 9517 (tel)
(012) 663 9238 (fax)


South African Health Professions Council

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to the health professions.

P O Box 205
Pretoria
0001
(012) 338 9300 (tel)
(012) 328 5120 (fax)


South African Legal Practice Council (when it is established)

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety by a legal practitioner.

P O Box 36626
Menlo Park
0102
(012) 366 8800 (tel)
(012) 362 0969 (fax)


South African Nuclear Energy Corporation Ltd/ National Nuclear Regulator

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to nuclear energy and radiation sciences and technology.

P O Box 7106
Centurion
0046
(012) 674 7100 (tel)
info@nnr.co.za (email)


South African Qualifications Authority

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to education and training.

Private Bag X 06
Waterkloof
0145
(086) 010 3188 (tel)
(012) 431 5039 (fax)


South African Revenue Service

Any alleged irregular or improper conduct or impropriety with regard to tax and customs-related matters.

Private Bag X 923 Pretoria
0001
(012) 422 4000 (tel)

 

Issued by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
Enquiries:
Mr Steve Mahlangu
Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services
079 878 7587
Mediaenquiries@justice.gov.za