Programmes in place to combat corruption

Friday, December 8, 2017

Public Service and Administration Minister Faith Muthambi says government has put several programmes in place and adopted a zero tolerance approach to combatting corruption.

Minister Muthambi was speaking at the commemoration of the 2017 International Anti-Corruption Day, at Unisa in Tshwane, on Friday.

International Anti-Corruption Day is commemorated annually on 9 December in recognition of the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which was signed in Mexico in 2003. 

South Africa is one of the signatories to the Convention and ratified it in 2004.

Held under the theme, “Illicit Financial Flows in Africa and its Impact on Development,” the day provides an opportunity for political leaders, governments, business, legal bodies and lobby groups to join forces against corruption.

Presenting a progress report on the revitalization of the National Anti-Corruption Forum, Minister Muthambi said that government’s commitment to eradicate corruption is reflected in the number of anti-corruption conventions, and measures South Africa accented to since becoming a democracy.

She said on 9 – 10 December 2003, South Africa signed the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).

The Minister announced that, as of October 2017, 140 countries have signed the convention, including South Africa.

National Anti-Corruption Forum

“One of the initiatives for me that stand out for South Africa in 2017, is the reconstitution of the National Anti-Corruption Forum (NACF). On 19 May 2017, a NACF consultative meeting was held to map the way forward towards the revival and effective functioning of the forum.

“The outcomes of the meeting was the establishment of three ad-hoc working groups responsible to review the failure of the NACF, so as to build on future success, to identify suitable funding for the NACF and to reconstitute the NACF. 

“The work performed by these working groups were presented to myself, and I am optimistic that early next year, we will have a fully functioning NACF. The recommendations of the sub committees will be considered by a full sitting of the NACF, which will decide on the best possible option for a suitable model to carry forward the fight against corruption,” Minister Muthambi said.

Once it is agreed that the problem is a common one, the Minister said a mutual approach can be explored to address corruption in all sectors, including the public sector.

In the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2014-2019, the South African government acknowledges that the country faces levels of corruption within the public and private sectors that is unacceptable.

Government also acknowledges that corruption undermines the rule of law and impedes government's authority and efforts to achieve its socio-economic development and service delivery objectives.

National Anti-Corruption Strategy

Minister Muthambi said that the development of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) for South Africa has been prioritised for delivery during 2016-2018, in order to be a guide for developing a set of shared commitments across sectors, to support collaboration within and between all sectors of society and to direct renewed energy towards the goal of reducing corruption, and building an ethical society.

“Work towards this outcome began in September 2015 when government initiated a process to develop a comprehensive NACS that takes into account all existing institutional structures and efforts to fight corruption.

“A framework the development of the NACS was endorsed by the Anti-Corruption Inter-Ministerial Committee. In January 2016, an inter-departmental NACS Steering Committee comprised of a number of government departments and the South African Local Government Association was established against corruption. This is to ensure that the process is open, transparent and inclusive of all sectors of South African society in order to arrive at a robust NACS, that has buy-in from government, business, civil society bodies and the citizens,” the Minister explained.

University of South Africa vice chancellor Professor Mandla Makhanya said that all citizens have a stake in fighting corruption, adding that UNISA has its own internal system and public awareness against corruption.

“Preventing corruption requires comprehensive approach. Companies should take zero tolerance towards corruption. The media can provide checks and balances on government and the private sector,” Makhanya said.

Fighting corruption a global concern

In a message from UN Secretary-General António Guterres read by UNODC Regional Representative, Zhuldyz Akisheva, it said fighting corruption is a global concern because corruption is found in both rich and poor countries.

“Evidence shows that it hurts poor people disproportionately,” Guterres message read.

Delegates unanimously agreed that corruption is not only a public sector problem, but it is both private and public sector disease.

The delegates called for zero tolerance on corruption. –

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