GUIDE TO THE WHISTLE-BLOWING ACT

Introduction

Since February 2001 South Africa has had the most far-reaching "state of the art" whistle-blowing legislation in the world. Understood and applied effectively, the new legislation known as the Protected Disclosures Act no 26 of 2000 will help to deter and detect wrongdoing in the workplace, acting as an early-warning mechanism to prevent impropriety and corruption within the public sector.

Essentially the law harnesses a common interest between responsible individuals who raise concerns they may have in the workplace with accountable organisations and managers prepared to respond to the bona fide concerns of their employees.

This guide is targeted at public sector managers in order to prepare them to be able to respond adequately when the whistle blows. As such this guide is divided into three main sections:

  1. Whistle-blowing in the South African context. This deals with what is whistle-blowing as well as how it can be a key risk management tool and encourage effective communication within organisations.
  2. Understanding the Act. The South African legislation on whistle-blowing, the Protected Disclosures Act, is explained in an accessible way.
  3. Implementing a whistle-blowing policy. Guidelines for developing a comprehensive whistle-blowing policy within organisations are discussed with key pointers and an action plan.