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Govt remains committed to eradicate corruption-Minister Dlodlo

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The South African government remains committed to wipe out corruption, says Public Service and Administration Minister, Ms Ayanda Dlodlo.

Delivering her keynote address at the commemoration of International Anti-Corruption Day (IACD) on Thursday, Minister Dlodlo said now is the time to stand together to fight corruption, as this is plausibly one of the most defining struggles of our time.

“The South African government remains committed to wipe out corruption, while both developing and developed countries are battling with this scourge, empirical evidence suggests to us that corruption hurts everyone, but the poor disproportionately, and also the youth.

“The fight against corruption is not only that of government.  We all have a role to play,” she said. This year’s IACD was held virtually under the theme: “Corruption free future starts today, it starts with me.”

According toMinister Dlodlo this theme ties perfectly in with the aims of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) that was adopted to set South Africa on a road that is free from corruption, and based on the values of integrity, transparency, accountability, and respect for the rule of law.

She further said that the coordinated fight against corruption in South Africa is slowly, but surely starting to pay off.

The Minister hailed the newly established Public Administration Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit (PAEIDTAU), the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) following the conviction of two police officers who were caught doing business with the state.   

Ms Dlodlo said the TAU is also contributing to identify public servants involved in Covid-19 related corruption (UIF fraud, Social Relief of Distress Grant and Personal Protection Equipment fraud) notifying their respective departments to take action against them and monitoring that disciplinary steps are running concurrently with criminal cases. 

The said government has put several programmes in place guided by the National Development Plan (NDP).

This plan envisage a South Africa with reduced levels of corruption by 2030, to be achieved through the National Anti-Corruption Strategy that serves as South Africa’s blue print to tackle corruption.

“NACS is a contact between the whole of society and focuses on addressing the root causes of corruption so that the citizens of South Africa can see a real change. 

“When implementing the strategy, I urged the Steering Committee to quantify the cost of corruption to citizens and to interrogate the real cost of corruption to the State and our people,” she said.

Minister Dlodlo said it is only a handful of public servants who can be regarded as bad apples, adding that they cannot allow the group, however small to spoil the barrel.

The United Nations Convention on Corruption (UNCAC) describes corruption as an insidious plague that has a wide range of corrosive effects on societies.

In the South African context, section 3 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004, defines corruption as the abuse of office for personal gain.

“Our commitment to fight corruption is desperately needed…It undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets, erodes the quality of life and allows organised crime, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish,” she said.