Category Archives: Corruption

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Manyi and Gasa almost made history

I got really excited yesterday. I was taking my tea break in the morning and decided to have a look at Twitter. Two of the people that I follow were at loggerheads. The one is Nomboniso Gasa, a researcher, writer and political analyst and the other is ex-Cabinet spokesman, Mzwanele (previously known as Jimmy) Manyi who also recently launched the Decolonization Foundation. These two, who are clearly not very happy with each other, were discussing a lifestyle audit. I immediately took a keen interest.

The previous day they had a heated discussion that involved many issues and accusations. Ms Gasa floated the idea of a lifestyle audit and Mr. Manyi accepted, albeit tacitly.

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Of course, a one-sided audit was never going to fly and Ms. Gasa posted the following Twitter chain, trying to thrash out the terms of a parallel audit.

gasacomment1_v4gasacomment2

Initially, Mr. Manyi took the bait, but with the proviso that other parties, less favourable (in his opinion) to Ms. Gasa be involved. He specifically mentioned Mr. Piet Rampedi.

At this point, I was jumping up and down in my seat. Imagine this, South Africans with differing viewpoints agreeing on the need for transparency and openness and offering themselves as sacrificial lambs to lead the way. Wow, I was envisioning this as the start of improving political discourse in SA, the start of talking to each other and not at each other, the placing of openness and honesty ahead of political difference.

I proceeded to fan the flames by posting the picture below, taking the by-line “Let the #GasaManyAudit begin!” from one of Ms. Gasa’s tweets.strydomcomment

Many people liked this idea (well 61 by today) and some people started tweeting under the #GasaManyiAudit hashtag. My excitement was growing.

Unfortunately, by yesterday afternoon, the audit was off. Mr. Manyi seems to have folded after calling Ms. Gasa’s bluff. The disappointment! These two people for whom I have much respect were about to create history and then … it was to be no more.

However, I retain hope and hence this blog. Maybe with enough pressure from social media, commentators and colleagues, this process can be resurrected. What is key though is that the right parties are found to produce this audit, parties that are seen as independent and are acceptable to both candidates. The parties should also really be willing to do this pro-bono. This lifestyle audit should be seen as more that settling a personal score between two people, but rather as a public service, moving our political discourse in a positive direction.

I therefore request the following, if you are interested in a parallel lifestyle audit between Mr. Manyi and Ms. Gasa:

  1. Tweet under the #GasaManyiAudit hastag to build awareness and pressure;
  2. Contact Mr. Manyi (@KrilaGP) and Ms. Gasa (@nombonisogasa) on Twitter or directly and ask them to proceed; and
  3. If you are a reputable and independent auditing firm, please offer your services on a pro bono basis to Mr. Manyi and Ms. Gasa directly.

Do you think that lifestyle audits of politicians, political commentators, business people and others would improve our political discourse and reduce the risk of corruption? If so, please throw your voices behind #GasaManyiAudit and let’s make history.

In the mean time, keep your talking straight!

#GasaManyiAudit #LifestyleAudit @KrilaGP @nombonisogasa

 

Marius Strydom is the CEO of MLAX Consulting

https://www.facebook.com/straighttalkingstrydom

https://twitter.com/Marius_Man


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Renewed focus on corruption

Maybe it’s electioneering, maybe it’s a New Year’s resolution or maybe I am being optimistic, but I am noticing a renewed focus on corruption in SA over the year to date. Whatever the reason, may it continue and build even more momentum. Unless actively countered, corruption will rear its ugly head, whether in politics, sport or business. Corruption does not care about income level, political affiliation, profession, race or religion. All that corruption cares about is opportunity, lack of transparency and lack of repercussions.

I would like to reiterate Robert Klitgaard’s corruption formula (which I discussed in a previous blog): corruption (C) = monopoly (M) + discretion (D) – accountability (A). The first term means that in a country or institution where the leadership has a great deal of power, either because it is a dictatorship (no elections being held) or where opposition is weak, corruption is likely to be much greater than in a democratic or free country or institution. The second term means that corruption is more likely in a country or institution where there is limited transparency of processes, where processes are not clearly defined and where there is limited oversight. The third term means that in an environment where corruption goes unpunished or where punishment is light, corruption is much more likely to be prevalent. What I take from this equation is that, especially in large institutions controlling large amounts of money, corruption is the most likely outcome, unless it is actively countered.

We have been speaking about it for a long time in SA, but there does seem to be a renewed focus on corruption in 2016 so far. Not just are opposing political parties going out of their way to identify corruption (or perceived corruption), institutions (including political parties) are speaking out about corruption in their own ranks. There have been numerous examples during this year so far.

According to the Sunday Times, Cosatu and SACP leaders “went public with their growing irritation at the influence the Guptas are said to have” at “the ANC’s NEC lekgotla”, while the EFF called for a “Gupta-linked” minister to be removed from parliament. It will be interesting to see whether the concerns about the Guptas gains momentum.

The DA raised concerns about a letter by Beaufort West mayor, Truman Prince, in which he discussed upcoming tenders and his desire “for these companies to inject funds into our election campaign process”. The ANC in the Western Cape was quick to respond, condemning Prince’s “lapse in judgement” and his “misguided attempts to raise funds” for the party. Whether further steps will be taken against Prince and whether he will be named as mayoral candidate for Beaufort West is still to be seen.

During last week, Cosatu wrote an open letter to Cape Town mayor, Patricia de Lille and Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela about alleged “nepotistic practices” relating to the employment of two individuals in the Provincial Government and the City administration. The DA has yet to respond to this letter publicly.

The EFF has recently stated that it is “ready to take President Zuma head-on again during the opening of Parliament”. In an interview this weekend, EFF president, Julius Malema, said “Zuma will have to explain why he fired minister Nhlanhla Nene before addressing the nation”. The state of the nation address occurs two days after the Constitutional Court hearing which the EFF brought to compel President Zuma “to pay back the money” relating to Nkandla.

Following allegations of “financial mismanagement” against SARU CEO, Jurie Roux, the DA’s shadow minister of sports and recreation called for him to be suspended. SARU has not yet announced any actions against Roux, but have denied any knowledge of “an inquiry into his employment at Stellenbosch” during his appointment process.

Last week Cricket SA imposed a 20-year ban on former Proteas cricketer Gulam Bodi who was charged with “contriving to fix, or otherwise improperly influence aspects of the 2015 Ram Slam T20 tournament”. They stated that “Our attitude to corruption will always be one of zero tolerance”.

On top of all these developments, there was also some good news last week with SA moving from 67th to 61st place on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) in 2015 (out of 168 countries). According to Corruption Watch, “The opinion makers surveyed for the CPI see evidence that key pockets of government are deeply concerned about corruption” and that this was “particularly true of important opinion shapers such as National Treasury”. However, it is not all good news, with 83% of South African surveyed by the Global Corruption Barometer (GCB) believing that corruption was increasing. According to Corruption Watch, “Their perceptions are equally valid. The good work of those serious about combating corruption is overshadowed by those who continue to behave with impunity.” It will be interesting to see what steps the reappointed Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, will take to combat corruption. In my opinion, he is in a very strong position to take positive steps.

We certainly have too much corruption in SA, which reduces the efficiency of our institutions, affects our ability to achieve targeted outcomes and negatively impacts the perception of the average South African. However, corruption remains top of mind and there is a good chance that the situation will improve as the year progresses. There is nothing like elections to focus the minds of politicians on looking for corruption amongst their competitors, but also t0 keep their own house in order. In my opinion, we are heading towards the most closely fought municipal election in SA since the democratic dispensation. May this encourage our ruling party and opposition movements to do just that, to target corruption. And once the elections are a thing of the past, may we retain some of that focus going forward.

 

Do you see an increased focus on corruption in SA? Do you think more is being done about it than before? Do you think the elections have something to do with this? Do you think that increased political competition will lead to reduced corruption? I would love to hear your feedback.

 

In the mean time, keep your talking straight!

 

#Corruption #MyHandsAreClean

 

Marius Strydom is the CEO of MLAX Consulting

https://www.facebook.com/straighttalkingstrydom

https://twitter.com/Marius_Man


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Dear Government

You have achieved a number of successes over the past 21 years (peaceful transition, improving people’s lives, economic growth, creating a peaceful environment), but you have me worried about an increasing number of issues. I am worried about high unemployment and low economic growth. I am worried about poor education and health outcomes (although you have done very well at fighting the AIDS epidemic). I am worried about Eskom and loadshedding and I am worried about corruption. We all make mistakes and sometimes we take wrong turns, but that can be fine as long as we recognise our failings and address them. What worries me most is that so often, you do not admit that issues are serious and increasingly you seem to try and hide these failings from us. I feel it is time for us South Africans to start speaking out, whether we are in government, in business, in opposition or just a normal citizen. We love this country and we want the best for our future. On this Youth Day, I really hope that you will listen to us, because if you do not, we will have to start looking at alternatives, including the EFF and the DA.

A concern that has been building over recent years is the sweeping of issues under the carpet. Maybe you are not doing this on purpose, maybe you feel that it is necessary to avoid distraction from your bigger plans or maybe I have the wrong end of the stick, but it is my perception that important issues are not being addressed adequately in the open. Examples are Guptagate, Marikana, Eskom and Nkandla. Sure, investigations are done, but the release of reports is often delayed and conclusions are often disputed, not just by the opposition, but by independent commentators. I am very worried that the happenings surrounding the court order to keep Omar El-Bashir in the country and to arrest him will similarly be investigated, but will result in delays and unsatisfactory conclusions. However, when it comes to this issue as well as the allegations surrounding bribery during the bidding for the 2010 World Cup, you are going to have to deal with forces outside of SA that may not be as easily satisfied with the outcomes. Maybe the time has come for you to launch much more transparent investigations and for you to accept the outcome and take the necessary steps. That really would be good for our country as a whole.

Eskom and the regular loadshedding that we have to deal with is another immediate concern that you really should sort out for us as soon as possible. I know that you do not like the idea of getting the private sector too intimately involved because this feels too much like nationalisation. However, maybe it is time for you to admit that Eskom needs help. The company has lost too many skilled people, the maintenance programme has fallen too far behind and the building of new generation capacity has become too fraught with difficulty. You did such a great job by allowing Telkom to bring in a private partner to build a mobile network in SA. Vodacom has been such a huge success, it has made so much money for you and Telkom and it has resulted in SA having a top mobile network, which benefits us all. You really should consider doing something similar with Eskom. You can retain the bulk of electricity production within Eskom, but allow a private sector joint venture to deal with new generation (especially renewable energy) and to help with maintenance (at least initially). Sure, you will lose some of the assets (and future assets) that Eskom would have owned, but if the right private sector partner is chosen, it could mean a great deal of upside for you, not just from profits within Eskom, but from a faster growing economy and a happier electorate. I am worried that the Eskom problems can be very damaging for you in upcoming elections.

Corruption is an issue in every government and institution, unless the right steps are taken to counter it. Whenever there are large amounts of money and power involved, corruption is a risk. Corruption is greater when there is a monopoly of power, when there are a great number of grey areas and where punishment is not aggressively meted out. You have a very strong majority in SA because of your great credentials and delivery to your constituency. Although you must be commended for this, you must also realise the risks that it creates for corruption to emerge. Because you have such a monopoly of power, it is important that you have very transparent processes and severe punishment for people that engage in corrupt activities. From my point of view and from the point of view of many commentators, processes are not sufficiently transparent currently and when things go wrong, it often appears as if stalling tactics, transference and interference is employed. If you do not address this, you may find that the extent of your monopoly reduces, which may not be a bad thing.

I know you have some great ideas to grow our economy and employment levels going forward, much of which is contained within the National Development Plan (NDP). My problem is that you are taking too long to start implementing this plan. I know you are a broad church and that you don’t always agree with each other within the ruling party and government, but we are not going to see successes on this front if we do not start. Low global commodity prices are putting pressure on our economy and our debt levels and we need to do something to counter this sooner rather than later. You really should start posting some successes here before the municipal elections next year and certainly before the general elections in 2019 or risk losing support.

Another area of concern that could really limit our ability to be competitive globally in the long term is the poor education outcomes that we achieve compared to the rest of the world. Especially today on Youth Day, this is an issue that needs to be considered. I know you spend a lot of money on education and we really appreciate this. The problem is that you are not getting the bang for your buck that you should. This is a complex issue, but I think that you could get much better outcomes if you raised the standards within schools and do more to support principals. Pupils should really not be satisfied to achieve marks of 30% and 40%, they should aim for excellence. You, dear Government, should not be satisfied with such low standards if you are serious about our future. If you lifted your expectations, you may be surprised at how well pupils do. Do not underestimate them. You should also expect more from principals and teachers.

There is so much that is great about this country. We enjoy a level of freedom that many countries envy and that we did not know 25 years ago. We strive for equality, at least of opportunity, although much more needs to be done. We have wonderful diversity of people that helps us to find unique solutions and makes this an exciting and interesting place to live. We have so much natural beauty. We have an abundance of land and natural resources that if properly utilised, can make us a leading country. We have made some great contributions to the world in the past and we are in a strong position to continue doing so. We are a land of opportunity and we need to grow our skills base so that more people can benefit from it. We have one of the strongest business infrastructures in the world and companies and investors recognise this. Political discourse is vibrant and healthy in this country and we must make sure that we continue to allow people to have their say, even if we disagree. We have a young and growing population and on this Youth Day we have to think about ways to improve their education and levels of employment. And finally, we suffer from inefficiency. It may be strange, but this is really an asset for us, because we can do so much better without having to spend more money. However, it is only an asset if we actively become more efficient (otherwise, we are wasting money). All we need is the right political will, dear Government.

I am confident that you want this country to be successful and to make it a better place for all who live in it. Please be willing to admit your failings, because that is the only way that you can find solutions. If there are bad apples amongst your ranks, please speak out and do what you can to get them on the right track or remove them. Please do more to police yourself, because as you know with more power, there is more risk of corruption. I know it may be uncomfortable for processes to be too transparent and open with strict rules, but in the end this will protect you as well as us.

In conclusion dear Government, our fate is in your hands at the moment. You are the ones in control, it is you that can lead us to a greater future, but it is also you that can make the mistakes that could lead us in the wrong direction. For the sake of us all, I ask you on this Youth Day to look inward, to admit failings and to take the right steps to correct them.

 

What do you think of my letter to Government? Do you think I am balanced in my approach? Have I touched on the right issues? Do you think that Government will listen to those of us that speak out? Do you think that the electorate is listening? I would love to hear your feedback. #SpeakingOutSA

In the mean time, keep your talking straight!

 

Marius Strydom is the CEO of MLAX Consulting

https://www.facebook.com/straighttalkingstrydom

https://twitter.com/Marius_Man


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Speak out South Africa!

I am indelibly tied to South Africa. It is the country of my birth, the home that I love, the place where I will grow old with my family and where I will lay my head one day. I am 100% committed to the transition we have seen in our society, the roll-out of freedom, the march towards non-racialism and the attempts to create at least equality of opportunity. I remain hopeful that together, with the meaningful assets at our disposal, we can become a very successful country. However, right now I believe we are at a crossroads. Right now, South Africans need to speak out at the issues that are pulling our country in the wrong direction. Please join me and speak out South Africa.

There are many commentators in our country who are speaking out. They are speaking out against lack of delivery, whether it is the loadshedding caused by Eskom, the poor outcomes in education, health and crime. They are speaking out against corruption, citing issues such as tenders, cadre deployment, Nkhandla, Guptagate and more. They are speaking out against our lack of economic growth and our rising unemployment. However, I have two main problems with the way that people are speaking out in SA. Firstly, there are too many people who are unbalanced in their criticism and include distinct racial undertones in their discussions. Secondly, there are too few people in the tripartite alliance and in the business world who are speaking out and often those that do are marginalised and victimised.

Why is an unbalanced view problematic in SA? It is a problem because it fails to give credit where credit is due and because it is grossly unsympathetic to our history and the way that most people feel about it. We come from a very tortured past in this country where there was an institutionalised division between the haves and the have not’s. Despite what so many people may think, 20 years of democracy is by far not long enough to erase the damage that our past has created. This is made so much worse by the fact that we remain such an unequal society, that our unemployment is so high and that our economic growth is so low. The electorate is often called ignorant for continuing to vote for the ANC, despite its failings. In my opinion, that statement is totally ignorant and totally misses the point that most ANC supporters have seen meaningful improvements in their lives over the past 20 years. People are voting for the party that they believe acts in their interest.

By simply criticising the performance of government without putting forward a balanced case, commentators are alienating the electorate before they even have the opportunity to listen to arguments. Similarly, criticisms with racial undertones can so easily be shot down by government and supporters of government. It gives them an easy way out! A balanced argument is so much more difficult to dismiss out of hand. To take a valuable weapon from an underperforming government, we need to remain balanced and force them to address the issues. Play the ball and not the man is a motto we should adopt in this regard. Even if this does not sway the powers that be (who have a vested interest in not being shown to be fallible), it has the potential to sway the electorate that has voted them into power. I have faith in our people and our voters.

Why is a lack of criticism from insiders a problem? This one is obvious. They either do not want to show weakness or fallibility or they are afraid that speaking out may damage their position within the alliance, which is a justified concern. The problem for the alliance is however that their long-term tenure is ultimately dependent on receiving support from the electorate and that they cannot expect such support not to wane in the wake of underperformance. If they do not improve, they will be voted out, unless they resort to nefarious means to remain in power.

There are many people within the ruling alliance who are unhappy with the current state of affairs, but are scared to speak out because of the consequences it could have for them, and rightly so. Many outspoken leaders have been rewarded by being pushed out into the cold, like Zwelenzima Vavi, Pallo Jordan, Trevor Manuel, Ronnie Kasrils and Tokyo Sexwale. I would urge politicians within the ruling party to set aside their concerns and speak out for the greater good of our country. Please do more Kgalema Motlante, please speak out Cyril Ramaphosa. Be on the right side of history.

The business world, especially large business, also finds itself in a very delicate position. The New South Africa has given them a very comfortable environment to operate in, with good infrastructure (Eskom permitting), rule-of-law, low interest rates, a growing public sector, limited competition, low tax rates and increasing social grants to fund purchases of their products. Yes, there are issues surrounding BEE and the labour market, but growing profits and rising share prices highlight how good they have had it. They have much to lose by speaking out and alienating government and its electorate. So they wait. I just hope they do not act like FIFA’s sponsors and only speak out once the wheel has turned. Instead, now is the time to speak out South African business and help to affect changes.

Independent commentators, especially those of you with strong credentials, please do not give up the fight. We need you now more than ever Thuli Madonsela, Max du Preez, Zapiro, Ferial Haffajee, Eusebius Mackaizer and so many others. Refuse to be bullied, ignore accusations of racism, do not simply be painted as opposition apologists. Remain balanced and continue chipping away. We will get there.

South Africa is a free country, with freedom of speech, freedom of association and a free democratic process. Our civil society is vibrant and do not simply believe what they are told. Together, we can build the land swell that will move our country in the right direction. It does not matter who you are, speak out. Without bringing race into it, speak out against what you see wrong with our country. Use balanced arguments and offer solutions when you speak out. If you are an insider, let go of your fears and speak out. If you are a business leader, be on the right side of history and speak out. If you are an independent commentator, do not be bullied and speak out. Speak out South Africa.

Speak out to your friends, comment on facebook and twitter, fight against corruption in your local communities, schools and work places, support the National Anti-Corruption Forum and Corruption Watch, call your councillor, write an email to your premier, call the Union Buildings on 012 300 5200 and ask for Cyril Ramaphosa, email Ronnie Mamoepa on ronnie@presidency.gov.za, call the presidential hotline on 17737 or email President Zuma on Presidentrsa@presidency.gov.za. Comment on my blog!

 

What are you going to do to speak out? I would love to see your views. In the mean time, keep your talking straight!

 

Marius Strydom is the owner of MLAX Consulting

https://www.facebook.com/straighttalkingstrydom

https://twitter.com/Marius_Man


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Corruption – A human condition

The arrest of FIFA officials in the past week has brought discussions on corruption to the fore again. For South Africans who are very concerned with the corruption in our country, this offers an opportunity to look at corruption in a global context. The fact of the matter is that corruption has been prevalent throughout the ages in all parts of the world. Even though some countries and institutions have managed to curb corruption to a meaningful extent, the unfortunate truth appears to be that corruption is a human condition. We need to constantly and aggressively tackle corruption if we are to make headway.

What causes corruption?

The Merriam Webster dictionary defines corruption as “dishonest or illegal behaviour especially by powerful people (such as government officials or police officers)”. Robert Klitgaard, who is an expert on corruption, came up with a corruption formula where corruption (C) = monopoly (M) + discretion (D) – accountability (A).

The first term means that in a country or institution where the leadership has a great deal of power, either because it is a dictatorship (no elections being held) or where opposition is weak, corruption is likely to be much greater than in a democratic or free country or institution. The second term means that corruption is more likely in a country or institution where there is limited transparency of processes, where processes are not clearly defined and where there is limited oversight. The third term means that in an environment where corruption goes unpunished or where punishment is light, corruption is much more likely to be prevalent.

What I take from this equation is that, especially in large institutions controlling large amounts of money, corruption is the most likely outcome, unless it is actively countered. Unfortunately, history bears this out. There has been no civilisation, no group of people, and no country that has been totally free from corruption, even the most successful ones. From ancient Egypt, through the Greek and Roman Empires, the Chinese civilisation and Europe in the middle ages, corruption was a serious issue. Corruption has continued in the developed world during the 20th and 21st centuries.

Today, the countries that score the lowest on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index tend to be in the developing world and are dictatorships (like North Korea), failed states (like Somalia or arguably Sudan) or countries suffering from conflict (Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya). In 2014, SA ranked 67 out of 174 countries, scoring higher than Brazil, Italy, India, Thailand, Mexico, Argentina and Iran. However, there were a number of developing countries that attracted a higher score than SA, including Barbados, Chile, the UAE, Botswana, Mauritius and Namibia.

How do successful countries counter corruption?

In 2014, the four countries that were considered the least corrupt were Denmark, New Zealand, Finland and Sweden. These countries typically have “high levels of press freedom, open budget processes and strong accountability mechanisms”.

With the exception of the UAE (and maybe Hong Kong), all of the top 25 countries in the Corruption Perception Index were democracies where power changes hands between different political parties from time to time.

A key feature of scandals in the developed world over recent years, whether it was Watergate, Elliot Spitzer, Rod Blagojevich, the Chen Shui-ban Scandals or the Profumo Affair is that they typically lead to resignations or arrests (although there are exceptions like Silvio Berlusconi). In many developing countries though, corruption often goes unchecked and unpunished for years.

The key differences between countries that are generally prone to corruption and countries that are less prone to corruption are that 1) it is easier to identify corruption in certain countries because of transparent and open processes; 2) there are more likely to be whistleblowers in countries less prone to corruption; 3) the press is more likely to report on corruption; 4) the people are more likely to be outraged by corruption; 5) political parties (companies) are more likely to demand resignations from or pursue prosecutions of perpetrators; 6) opposition parties are more likely to be strengthened by corruption from the ruling party (potentially to the point where they can take power); and 7) the political process allows for a peaceful transition of power.

What about South Africa?

In SA, many of the conditions above are in place for the country to fall in the less corrupt group, but there are issues that are amiss. It appears as if it is sometimes more difficult to identify and prove corruption in SA, because there is sometimes a lack of transparency and poorly defined processes. Especially when it comes to tender processes in SA, there is a great deal that can be done to make it more transparent. Rules around these processes should be more clearly defined and aggressively policed, while the processes themselves should be made public knowledge.

We have whistleblowers in SA, but very often these individuals are vilified, which creates a serious disincentive in the fight against corruption. The way in which the Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela has been treated is a clear example of this.

We certainly have a free press in SA and there is a great deal of reporting on corruption. Large parts of our population are also outraged by corruption. However, outrage has not been sufficient to put a meaningful dent in the support of our ruling party (considering recent election results). This may well be because most people are on balance happy with the delivery that Government provides to them rather than them being oblivious to corruption issues. If so, there is a meaningful risk to the ruling party that they will lose support going forward unless issues are addressed. It would be interesting to see polls surrounding Nkhandla, Eskom and President Zuma’s approval rating and how these are changing over time.

In SA, there sometimes seems to be a resistance from the ruling party to demand resignations and pursue prosecutions of the perpetrators of corruption. Where these occur, they are often at a relatively low level (e.g. Guptagate) or they are mired in controversy (NPA, Hawks, Crime Intelligence, SAPS, SARS).

Opposition parties have been strengthened and are likely to be strengthened in future if Government does not do enough to address the concerns of the people surrounding corruption. However, it is not yet clear whether this trend will be sufficient to jeopardise the ANC’s majority support in major municipalities, provinces and nationally. The municipal elections of 2016 could give us a strong indication of this trend.

Finally, we have evidence that our political process would allow for a peaceful transition of power. We have seen a peaceful transition of power from the National Party to the ANC in 1994, we saw the peaceful departure of President Mbeki in 2008 and we saw a peaceful transition of power in the Western Cape in 2009. There are concerns though that further transitions may be more difficult. Time will tell.

Conclusion

Corruption unfortunately appears to be a human condition. It has occurred and occurs everywhere regardless of country, creed or institution unless the necessary steps and processes are in place to counter it. It is not sufficient to simply depend on the good ethics and morals of our leaders. To counter corruption globally and in SA, we need to demand transparency, create a conducive environment for whistle blowing, ensure freedom of the press, be outraged by infractions, prosecute offenders, remove support for parties that condone such behaviour and maintain a free democratic process.

Many of these processes are in place in SA, but there are warning signs and we need to be vigilant. Continue to ask the difficult questions, be brave enough to speak out, demand accountability and withdraw support if positive steps are not taken.

 

Do you agree that corruption is a human condition? Do you concede that SA is better positioned than many other countries? Do you think that things will get better in SA? What are you doing to reduce corruption? I would love to see your feedback.

In the mean time, keep your talking straight!

 

Marius Strydom is the owner of MLAX Consulting

https://www.facebook.com/straighttalkingstrydom

https://twitter.com/Marius_Man


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