SPEECHES: Presentation to International Anti-corruption day 2017, by the Mminister for the Public Service and Administration

Date: 8 Dec 2017

Programme Director, Dr Somadoda Fikeni

Prof Mandla Makhanya, Principal and Vice Chancellor of Unisa

Ms. Zhuldyz Akisheva, Regional Representative for Southern Africa,United

Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Dr Abdalla Hamdok, Deputy Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic

Commission for Africa

Commissioners of the Public Service Commission

Your Excellencies, Ambassadors and High Commisioners present

Members of the Panel for today

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

The South African government is committed to eradicate corruption. Our government has put several programmes in place and adopted a zero tolerance and "whole of government and societal approach" to combat-ting corruption, directed by a National Development Plan. This plan envisage a South Africa with reduced levels of corruption by 2030. The vehicle to achieve this, is a resilient anti- corruption system which will successfully detect and investigate cases of corruption, with a view to prosecution, conviction and the incarceration of perpetrators.

Our commitment as government to eradicate corruption is especially reflected in the number of anti-corruption conventions and measures South Africa accented to since becoming a democracy. One such a Convention is the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC). Today marks the anniversary of the signing of this Convention on 9-10 December 2003. As of October 2017, 140 countries have signed the convention, including South Africa.

To recognise the landmark adoption of the Convention, the Public Service Commission (PSC), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the University of South Africa (UNISA) have since commemorated this day. This day is regarded as a valuable opportunity through which both to promote the Convention as well as to reflect on initiatives undertaken against corruption on a global, continental, regional and national level.

One of the initiatives for me that stand out for South Africa in 2017, is the reconstitution of the National Anti-CorruptÎon 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. Various civil society organisations, including business and union representatives, were invited to attend the meeting. The outcome 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 successes, 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 sustainable model to carry forward the fight against corruption.

The whole of society approach pertaining to the NACF shows that together as a society, we can own the problem of corruption and find solutions to tackle it effectively. Once it is agreed that the problem is a common one, a mutual approach can be explored to address corruption in all sectors, including the public sector. Together, as a team, the NACF can develop ways and means in combating corruption.

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, and that corruption undermines the rule of law and impedes government's authority and efforts to achieve its socio-economic development and service delivery objectives. Through the MTSF the reduction of corruption in the public and private sectors is a specific priority deliverable for government. An indicator for this outcome is a consolidated national anti-corruption policy framework and the development of a national strategy and implementation plan. The development of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) for South Africa has therefore 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 National Anti-Corruption Strategy that takes into account all existing institutional structures and efforts to fight corruption. A framework the development of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy was endorsed by the AntiCorruption Inter-Ministerial Committee. In January 2016 an inter-departmental National Anti-Corruption Strategy Steering Committee comprised of a number of government departments and the South African Local Government Association was established.

A roadmap was developed to achieve a 'whole ofgovernment and society' approach in the fight 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 National Anti-Corruption Strategy that has buy-in from government, business, civil society bodies and the citizens.

All sectors of the South African society are invited to provide input on this process, comment on the Discussion Document and to participate in appropriate awarenessraising engagements and consultative processes or forums.

The rationale for of an overarching National Anti-Corruption Strategy is to:

    • Rejuvenate a national dialogue and direct energy towards practical mechanisms to reduce corruption and improve ethical practice across sectors and amongst citizens in South Africa.

    • Support coordination between government, business and civil society efforts to reduce corruption and improve accountability and ethical practice.

    • Provide a robust conceptual framework and strategic pillars to guide anti-corruption approaches across relevant sectors in the country.

    • Provide a tool for monitoring progress towards a less corrupt society.

The vision of the proposed draft National Anti-Corruption Strategy is a South Africa that has an Ethical and Accountable State, business and civil society in which all those in positions of power and authority act with integrity and Citizens that respect the rule of law and are empowered to hold those in power to account.

In conclusion, it must be noted that the implementation of the current measures government has introduced to fight corruption, including the high level oversight structures, including the Inter-Ministerial Committee and Anti-Corruption Task Team, is proving successful. Although a lot more needs to be done, I believe that these efforts are putting South Africa in a better position to fight corruption,

THANK YOU!


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