Doing what’s right even when no one is watching in a sector crowned by bureaucracy, criticism and lack of resources can be a challenging task to undertake, especially for those individuals who have dedicated themselves to serving the public and the larger community with integrity.
But for our Integrity Icon South Africa winners – it is the positive impact they have on others, that makes it that much more easier for them to serve with integrity. We are proud to celebrate these exemplary public servants as the winners for the third annual Integrity Icon South Africa campaign. This year’s group of icons is made up of men and women representing the very best of South Africa’s public service, from the fields of social development, home affairs, healthcare and the department of trade and industry. Introducing all our Integrity Icon South Africa winners:
Unathi Samora Filita – Social Worker
Our first winner is Unathi Samora Filita, a Social Worker at the Department of Social Development (DSD) in Uitenhage, South Africa assigned under the Non-Profit Organisations (NPO) cluster for special projects. He is responsible for monitoring and evaluating projects funded by the department as well as assisting new projects with registration and capacity building. As an official serving under the NPO cluster , Unathi often goes out of his way to support the community at large. He organised different organisations dealing with HIV/AIDS, substance abuse and sex workers to form one umbrella organsiation operating as a ‘one stop shop’ for services needed by the community. He believes it is his responsibility as a social worker to look out for the needs of the community discounting no one. He is actively involved in community building initiatives – this year he was also a part of the delegation that established the Victim Empowerment Programme Forum that advocates for the rights of gender-based violence victims. “Integrity means doing the right thing in all circumstances – even if no one is watching,” he says. Watch Unathi’s Inspiring story here.
Dr. Sarah Dlamini – Paediatric Registrar
Introducing our second winner, Dr Sarah Dlamin. Dr Dlamini is a Paediatric Registrar based in KwaZulu-Natal and rotating between hospitals in the province. Dr. Dlamini decided to fulfil her desire to help people in need by becoming a doctor and serving in public healthcare in order to afford the most vulnerable people access to proper care. Standing as the voice of hope for her patients, she is working hard to bring integrity and trust back to the public healthcare system by bringing the best of herself each day. Because she understands the struggles he patients have to endure in order to make it to the hospital. Without getting a pad on the back herself, Dr Dlamini ensures to always give a pad on the back to her patients for their care and perseverance. “I have always endeavoured to not grow weary of doing good. I aim to give the best of myself in service of both my patients and my colleagues.” she says. She started her blog where she writes about her challenges as a public healthcare professional and how she is dealing with them. Unknowing to her, she now has many followers who also use the platform to share their stories and the impact the blog is having in their lives. Watch Sarah’s inspiring story here.
Dr Sadna Balton – Head of Speech & Audiology
Our third winner is Head of Speech Therapy & Audiology Unit at Joburg’s Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital Dr Sadna Balton. She started working at the Speech Therapy & Audiology department straight after graduating at the university of Witwatersrand (Wits), where she’s been serving for 29 years. To Dr Balton, healthcare is an essential part of everyday life. It is about getting people back to work, getting children back to school and with the little ones, identifying difficulties early.
She believes integrity is connected to passion and purpose. She is passionate about social justice, people centred care and developing people – therefore this is her purpose – and staying true to her purpose allows her to serve with integrity. Described as a dedicated servant that stands firm by her morals and what she believes in, Dr Balton believes that as a public servant it is her responsibility to serve as a change agent, to change people’s perceptions about how they see public servants and their experiences. As head of Speech Therapy & Audiology, she leads a diverse team of clinicians and she believes in the importance of being culturally and linguistically congruent. She is actively involved in leading transformational change at the hospital involving both hospital staff and patients. Watch her short film here: here.
Constance Moitse – Director of Investigation
Introducing our forth winner, Constance Moitse. She is Director of Investigation (Internal Hotline) for Counter Corruption at the Department of the Home Affairs. To her, integrity means doing the right thing without compromising and servicing people with diligence. As a public servant, Moitse is no stranger to corruption. In her department, they are continuously confronted with instances of corruption and because of her principled approach and integrity towards her work, she not only has a zero tolerance policy to corruption but has also imparted the same values to her team.
Moitse believes that it is important to stay true to your values as those become your guide with the decisions you have to make. Working in law enforcement, means trying to stay true and encouraging others. Whenever faced with undesirable circumstances in her work, she always remembers her “why” – and that is to serve the community. Working with integrity and good governance is about giving your best and being accountable to yourself without expecting anything in return.The work she does at Home Affairs is about investigations of fraud and corruption cases, assisting the department with integrity, and handling cases received from the national anti-corruption hotline. She always goes above and beyond for every case she is handling. “My one wish is to see a corruption free South Africa. Corruption is there because there are opportunities for corruption. Once we can eliminate opportunities for corruption in our systems, we can have a corruption free society.” Watch Moitse’s inspiring story here.
Zodwa Ntuli – Commissioner (B-BBEE)
Introducing the fifth and final winner, Commissioner in charge of the B-BBEE Commission at the Department of Trade Industry and Competition based in Pretoria Zodwa Ntuli. Zodwa is a firm advocate for transparency and honesty in her department. Regardless of numerous unethical requests she receives, she applies a firm hand in dealing with such occurrences – further imparting the same values and principles to her team and people around her. She believes integrity means what her grandmother used to say, “You should not be bothered by what people say about you but you should always consider what people will say if you do this.” She is actively applying this in her approach to her work and life without fail. To “Integrity is about those principles that are on-negotiable” she says. As a public servant, she believes that it is an obligation to ensure that the public has confidence in them. To her colleagues, Zodwa pushes for Batho Pele principles (put people first), implements the legislation with limited resource diligently so. She is described as an innovator who always finds creative ways to address challenges faced by her department. She believes that lack of resources in government is an opportunity for innovation to take place. “Serving the public has always been my passion. Even as a student I was a volunteer at Street Law Project, SA Student Volunteers, Lawyers for Human Rights and the Centre for Human Rights. My student vacations were always on some community project. I learned most of what I know today through volunteering – that is my reward.” Watch Ntuli’s short film here.