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South Africa to commemorate International Anti- Corruption Day

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The South African government will join the international community in commemorating International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD) on Thursday, December 9, 2021.

This year’s IACD will be held at the University of South Africa’s (Unisa) ZK Matthews Hall under the theme: “Corruption free future starts today, it starts with me”.

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

he day provides an opportunity for political leaders, governments, legal bodies and lobby groups to join forces against corruption. Fighting corruption is a global concern because all forms of corrupt activities are found in both rich and poor countries.

Evidence shows that it hurts poor people disproportionately and it contributes to instability, poverty and is a dominant factor driving fragile countries towards state failure. Fighting corruption is not a simple task. It is a fight that concerns everyone and requires everyone’s involvement to prevent its manifestation or to react decisively to wrongdoing.

It calls not just for the dedication of independent anti-corruption bodies in preventing, detecting, and holding corrupt officials accountable, but also for the active public involvement of every citizen by saying no to corruption. The fight against corruption, therefore, depends on citizen awareness, support, and participation. The people are the first line of defense. 

Citizens are drivers of accountability, reform and change. It is therefore important to put citizens at the centre of fighting corruption. This event is one of many efforts to empower citizens to act against those who are corrupt.

Building a culture of integrity in society begins with education of young people.  The knowledge, skills and behaviours they acquire will shape the country’s future and will help them to uphold integrity, which is essential for preventing corruption.

Engaging the youth is thus also critical to inspiring norms for integrity, ethical behaviour and equipping the youth with knowledge and skills to resist corruption. Public integrity means doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.

IACD sub-themes

  • Contextualising International Anti-Corruption Day
  • The impact of corruption on the Youth  / Corruption infringes on our Constitutional rights

Focus – sensitising the youth to be aware of the cost of corruption and encourage them to act for the greater common good.

  • The Youth’s role in reshaping South Africa 

Focus – Young people have a role to play in putting an end to corruption.

  • “Be the change you want to see” -What are your dreams for South Africa? Youth in action 

These sub-themes are consistent with the NDP and the National Anti-Corruption Strategy’s Strategic Pillar One: Citizen Participation. Government has put several programmes in place and one such measure is the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS), which resulted in a roadmap being developed to achieve a ‘whole of government and society’ approach in the fight against corruption.

The National Development Plan (NDP) envisage a South Africa with reduced levels of corruption by 2030.