Government’s efforts to root out corruption continue to yield results, President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday, during the first State of the Nation Address (SONA) of the sixth administration.
President Ramaphosa said government has taken decisive steps to end State capture and fight corruption. These measures include strengthening the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Special Investigating Unit (SIU), South African Revenue Service (SARS) and State Security.
Despite this, the President said, much more work needed to be done.
“We are committed to building an ethical State in which there is no place for corruption, patronage, rent-seeking and plundering of public money. We want a corps of skilled and professional public servants of the highest moral standards – and dedicated to the public good.
“We have asked the National Director of Public Prosecutions to develop a plan to significantly increase the capacity and effectiveness of the NPA, including to ensure effective asset forfeiture. We need to ensure that public money stolen is returned and used to deliver services and much needed basic infrastructure to the poorest communities.”
The recently set up SIU Special Tribunal is expected to start its work within the next few months to fast track civil claims arising from SIU investigations, which are currently estimated to be around R14.7 billion.
President Ramaphosa said work to rebuild and address problems of poor governance, inefficiency and financial sustainability has already begun.
Regarding safety and security, the President said government would work towards halving crime in the next 10 years. To achieve this, police visibility would be increased by employing more police officers, and to create a more active role for citizens through effective community policing forums.
“Currently, there are over 5 000 students registered for basic training in our police training colleges and we envisage that this number will be increased to 7 000 per cycle over the next two intakes. We are working to improve success rates in investigating and prosecuting crimes, and to ensure better training and professionalisation throughout the criminal justice system,” he said.
President Ramaphosa said government was working with civil society organisations on strategies to end gender based violence and femicide.
“We are capacitating and equipping the police and court system to support survivors of gender-based violence,” he said. – SAnews.gov.za