Pretoria- Government employees who abuse leave during the 2010 FIFA World Cup could find themselves facing an investigation.
This was the warning sent out to public servants by the Ministry for Public Service and Administration (MPSA) ahead of Friday's kick-off.
The department called for strict management of leave policies during the tournament, warning that employees who faked sickness or absconded from work cold face investigations or have action taken against them.
"As the MPSA, we share in the euphoria of public servants and the country as a whole in hosting this soccer spectacle and rallying behind our national team but call upon public servants to be responsible in not abusing leave and to also bear in mind the pledge to serve our people.
"We do appreciate that the tournament is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for all South Africans. As part of the capacity planning for the public service during the World Cup, the MPSA is urging all government departments to adhere to the developed guidelines of leave management within the public service," the department said.
It was up to the heads of department to decide on the approval of leave but they would have to take into account the operations of their departments during the tournament.
The department added that there were requests for public servants to be granted leave three hours before Bafana Bafana games.
Once again, that decision was up to the heads of departments, taking into account the relevant regulations.
The ministry added that departments would implement shift rosters to accommodate those who wanted to take leave and close attention would be paid to working times.
Specific arrangements would also be made to give all government employees a "fair and equal opportunity for time off" and proper records of this will be kept and recorded as annual leave, it said.