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HOPE NOT ALL LOST IN ENSURING ETHICAL PUBLIC SERVICE
by Nande Fayo

Unathi Filita - Uitenhage-based Social Worker


The ability to devote himself to honesty, integr​ity, and always striving in going above the call of duty in order to stand out above the rest – these are the qualities that have always defined the work ethic of Unathi Filita.

The Uitenhage-based Social Worker, Filita has hoisted high the Department of Social Development flag by being recognised with an Integrity Icon Award is a global campaign by the Accountability Lab with an Integrity Award. This is result of his sterling work for finding employment for 150 Uitenhage youth. 
The awards are run every year by the Accountability Lab to recognise the work and integrity of people making a difference in public service. It aims to generate debate on integrity and importance of personal responsibility. Filita is one of the five South African winners in diverse fields, including social development. 

The University of Fort Hare graduate, who started in the Department in 2006 as a Probation Officer, is responsible for skilling of Community Based Organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations. He has often gone beyond the call of duty, recently finding employment for 150 youth at Volkswagen-SA in Uitenhage. In 2010, he won the  Best Social Work Integrated Approach Award in the Nelson Mandela Metro District.

“It is crucial to maintain integrity in the work that I am doing - as it fosters an ethical approach to decision making. Being an honest and dependable person, you gain respect and trust from my colleagues and management. I was nominated by transforming Women in Social Transition,” says Filita.
Unathi Filita says he is also working with Harambe, an organization that trains young people, preparing them for work opportunities. This was one of the achievements that made him to be nominated for the award. Nominees were of all ages, races, from different sectors and in different positions. The judging panel was made up of retired Constitutional Court Judge Zak Yacoob, Advocate Adila Hassim, Democracy Works Foundation executive chairperson Professor William Gumede, and Corruption Watch’s Moira Campbell.

Social Development MEC Siphokazi Lusithi congratulated Filita on this important accolade and notes his efforts of going beyond the call of duty in the service of our people.” We so wish that his actions will not just inspire those around him but society generally”, said Lusithi

One of Filita’s colleagues, Nozuko Msizi describes him as one of the most dedicated public servants she has ever worked with. She says Filita he overstretches himselfel in assisting those in need. Msizi says she is delighted by the Accountability Lab initiative of “naming and faming” honest civil servants. 
The Integrity Icon Award ceremony will be held in Johannesburg on December 05, 2020