A critical need for ethical leadership to curb corruption and promote good governance in the public sector of South Africa

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    Corruption is recognised as a major hindrance to good governance in the South African (SA) public sector. The government has prompted the public sector to focus on anti-corruption measures as part of their mechanisms to prevent and curb corruption. Some departments have considered these controls. However, it is evident that these mechanisms are insufficient to prevent and curb corruption, due to poor governance practices, such as weakness and gaps in legislation. Furthermore, the public sector has seen that there are unethical and even toxic leaders, who exploit the loopholes in the systems and processes and seek to fulfil their personal desires at the expense of their departments. It is therefore argued that there is increasingly a need for ethical leadership in the public sector. This article therefore suggests the need for ethical leadership to prevent and curb corruption and to promote good governance in the SA public sector. Ethical leadership is associated with leader effectiveness and good governance. Leaders need to demonstrate ethical leadership in their daily behaviour, decisions and actions. By sending out strong messages about ethics and establishing clear reward and sanction systems to hold the employees accountable for their actions, leaders can promote good governance in the public sector.