The end of June marks the deadline for South African Members of Parliament (MPs) to disclose their financial and private interests of this year.
According to a parliamentary statement the new disclosure form was approved which emphasised the need for MPs to declare whether they have any trusts, long-term loans or liabilities.
This order was made by The Joint Committee on Ethics and Member’s Interest and provides time for members of Cabinet to familiarise themselves with the requirements of the document.
Any contracts that MPs hold with public institutions will need to be declared so the committee can ensure that the contracts are fulfilled and not renewed.
Political analyst, Steven Friedman, said there was no way of knowing if MPs were truthfully declaring their assets because this was a voluntary system.
“What we need is a system where whoever gives money to a politician has to declare it… There must be strict disclosure rules where failure to disclose is criminal,” said Friedman.
Friedman added that Zwelinzima Vavi used to campaign for lifestyle audits overseen by independent investigators to determine if the MPs assets matched their net worth. However, there was no capacity to monitor all politicians.
Committee members were impressed with the addition of the preamble of the new form. This, according to the report, “captures the principles by which MPs must abide, namely; selfishness, integrity, objectivity, openness, honesty and leadership.”