SA not turning into dysfunctional state - Chabane

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cape Town - Minister in the Presidency for Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane rejected any insinuations that corruption threatened to turn South Africa into a "dysfunctional state."

This follows a statement yesterday by the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac). 

Chabane said though government had interacted with Casac members and agreed with many of their aims, it did not agree with the "rhetoric", specifically the emotive language expressed by Casac chairperson, Sipho Pityana.

"Government believes that Casac's intentions are not that of trying to build a democracy we all live by. Casac, we believe understands and appreciates our constitutional democracy and know very well that they should report any allegations of corruption to the relevant institutions for investigation," he said.

Chabane detailed several initiatives the government has been involved with in recent years to fight corruption.

These, he said, included the setting up in 2009 of a multi-agency working group by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan to crack down on tender fraud, as well as the setting up of an inter-ministerial committee on corruption by President Jacob Zuma, also in 2009.

Gordhan's working group had, among other things, introduced heavy penalties of up to double the value of contract for suppliers involved in tender fraud and also allowed for the recovery of losses from corruption from officials who are responsible.

The inter-ministerial committee on corruption has this year alone resulted in 14 people being arrested, with more than R260 million worth of assets frozen, said Chabane.

He said the Department of Public Service and Administration had set up a special anti-corruption unit in November last year to ensure that effective disciplinary action is taken in important corruption cases.

Added to this the Department of Co-operative Government and Traditional Affairs is currently implementing a number of legal and other changes to prevent corruption in local government.

Chabane said President Jacob Zuma had also signed a number of proclamations authorising the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to investigate suspected corruption in government departments and institutions.