COSATU welcomes the release of proposals to increase protection for whistle blowers 

30 June 2023

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes the release of proposals to increase protection for whistle blowers by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. These are long overdue and will make a positive difference in the fight against corruption, state capture and criminality. 

The Federation supports the many progressive proposals released by government, in particular extending protection to persons who may not be employed at the workplace in question, requiring investigations to be expedited and government to report annually on progress made, shifting pressure onto persons who have been accused of crimes to prove their innocence, and requiring the state to provide protection to whistle blowers who’s security may be at risk. 

Whilst COSATU supports these critical proposals, the Federation is deeply disappointed government has failed to include provisions to incentivise and reward persons who blow the whistle against corrupt and other crimes. This tool has been used to powerful effect in the US and Canada and is now being adopted across many countries in Africa, Europe and Asia. COSATU, with the active endorsement of business and civil society, has raised this repeatedly with government at Nedlac. Timidity will not win the fight against the cancer of corruption. Incentives need to be provided for whistle blowers if we are to win this existential war. 

It is equally critical that when these proposals become law that witness protection services and the investigative organs of the state are sufficiently resourced otherwise they will remain meaningless platitudes. 

The Department needs to move with speed to draft legislation, release it for public comment, table it at Nedlac and Cabinet so that it can be tabled at Parliament for consideration and adoption as soon as the 7th Parliament is sworn in in less than a year. We simply cannot afford further delays. 

Issued by COSATU

For further comment please contact:
Matthew Parks
COSATU Parliamentary Coordinator