Whose conflict is it anyway? Addressing conflicts of interest in South Africa’s public sector


Conflicts of interest are situations rather than actions; as such, they do not constitute corruption in and of themselves. However, if left unmanaged and unregulated, conflicts of interest have the potential to result in corruption. The various corruption scandals reported in the media on a daily basis are often manifestations of conflicts of interest which were mismanaged and unregulated.

Against this background, this paper delves into the notion of conflict of interest and argues that similarly to corruption, conflicts of interest cannot be eradicated. Rather, these conflicts should be managed and regulated. An effective conflict of interest system is crucial in not only managing these conflicts but also as a preventative anti-corruption tool.

About the author

Richard Chelin is a Senior Researcher in the ENACT programme on transnational organised crime covering Southern Africa. His research interests cover organised crime, corruption and governance and their impact on human security.

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