Corruption limits opportunities to break the cycle of poverty
Acting Public Service and Administration Minister, Thulas Nxesi, says corruption has caused great suffering and harm to the country and the continent.
“Corruption has often been seen as an African and developing world phenomenon, mostly because of underdeveloped governance frameworks and lax judicial systems, as compared to richer countries,” Nxesi said on the eve of International Anti-Corruption Day.
Corruption, he said, is a trans-border problem found in all societies, regardless of economic development. Its impact is catastrophic on all societies, as it stifles economic growth and development, and limits opportunities to break the cycle of poverty.
“I would like to emphasise that it also undermines the very essence of our existence and ultimately the cohesion of society itself,” Nxesi said.
Addressing the first day of the International Anti-Corruption Day Summit at UNISA in Pretoria on Thursday, the Minister said International Anti-Corruption Day 2022, observed on 9 December, is meant to create awareness about the impact of corruption on the nation.
On 18 November 2018, Cabinet approved the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS), which provides a framework and action plan for South Africa.
The NACS is based on the principle that there should be prevention and combating of corruption through good governance, transparency, integrity management and accountability in society, including the early detection of potential corrupt practices to supplement the reactive measures executed by law-enforcement agencies and other anti-corruption bodies.
Nxesi said the collective effort of society as a whole as well as and an integrated approach to the fight against corruption will help mitigate the risk of costly commissions of inquiry, forensic investigations and other legal processes.
Acting Public Protector, Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka, said there was a need to provide better protection to whistle-blowers.
She conveyed her sincere gratitude to the many courageous and brave whistle-blowers who brought various allegations of fraud and corruption to the attention of the Public Protector and those who gave evidence at the State Capture Commission.
“I agree that we are indebted to the men and women who executed their functions tirelessly and honestly in our criminal justice institutions who, without fear or favour, worked to turn testimony presented to the Commission into evidence that can now be used in prosecutions.
“We are indebted to the diligent public servants and public representatives, researchers, journalists, activists, workers and businesspeople who uncovered, spoke out against and resisted State capture,” Gcaleka said.
She said conflict of interest needs to be looked at especially at leadership level. She encouraged the promotion of media freedom as part of the tool to fighting corruption.
“Ethical leadership is needed to resist the abuse of entrusted power for private gain, as well as potential interference and to protect the anti-corruption agencies’ operational independence, thus enabling good governance.”
The International Anti-Corruption Day Summit will continue on Friday. – SAnews.gov.za