The Millennium Development Goals (2000) established by the United Nations, had as their core objective the reduction of people who are poverty stricken to at least half of the world’s number of people then living in absolute poverty, by 2015. It sought to make it a priority for national governments to strive to eradicate poverty while also concentrating on financial institutions as well as the private sector to be involved in a meaningful manner in eradicating poverty. However, in countries such as, for example, Brazil and South Africa, corruption is almost endemic and permeates many facets of individual daily life and business transactions. Corruption in the public sector in particular is a malignant practice which is corroding confidence in the government of South Africa, and it severely undermines the credibility of the nation in the global arena. Strong moral leadership undoubtedly influences the ethical climate permeating any organization and indeed a nation. The Public Service in South Africa is in the process of developing a strong ethical culture so as to reduce the incidents of corruption, which are inter-alia characterized by fraud, bribery and other corrupt activities which plague it and which demean the character of South Africa as a nation forged in ‘doing the right thing’. This conceptual article discusses how corruption impacts poverty alleviation and unpacks efforts made from a legislative perspective as well as anti-corruption programmes in South Africa in recent times to address corruption in the Public Service. It makes recommendations and also briefly probes the role of the president and makes recommendations as to the way forward.