The re-launch of the Anti-corruption Forum established in 2005 took place on Thursday at Bolivia Lodge. Premier Stan Mathabatha was the keynote speaker at the event where representatives from all levels of the community attended.
He informed attendees that 9 December is International Anti-Corruption Day and reconfirmed the United Nations stance that corruption is a complex social, political and economic phenomenon that affects all countries. He went on to say: “Economic development is stunted because foreign direct investment is discouraged and small businesses within the country often find it impossible to overcome the ‘start-up costs’ required because of corruption. Corruption is a multi-faceted phenomenon that knows no boundaries.”
“While committed to act harshly against corruption, government can only succeed if members of the public report corrupt activities,” he said.
He said sufficient legislative and institutional mechanisms for members of the public to report corruption was put in place, referring to the Premier’s Anti-Corruption Hotline and similar facilities available at various departments and municipalities.
Mathabatha said because corruption has become very sophisticated, measures need to be reinforced from time to time and a dedicated body of reputable men and women are needed who will focus on the urgent task to bring down corruption. “The work of fighting corruption is immediately linked with the attainment of national goals such as fighting poverty and unemployment, improving economic growth and promoting social cohesion. These goals cannot be achieved in an environment of rampant corruption. The goals we have set for the province through the Limpopo Development Plan require that we liquidate corruption in all its forms. These goals include the creation of more jobs, increased access to basic services, improved education outcomes and the reduction of inequality.”
The forum launched will immediately take up the following responsibilities: To facilitate the co-ordination of sectoral strategies against corruption, to advise government on national initiatives on the implementation of strategies to combat corruption, to share information and the best practice on sectoral anti-corruption work, to provide guidance and advice on sectoral anti-corruption strategies, and to promote integrity amongst members of different sectors of the community in dealing with government, such as procurement of goods and services. Mathabatha said he believed men and women of high repute and moral standing and equal to the task have been nominated for the forum, and representative of all voices in the province: government, the Public Service Commission, media, labour, religious community, traditional leadership and the NGO sector.
Representatives from the forum as well as the Premier signed a pledge, promising to fight corruption in the province.
Story: NELIE ERASMUS
Featured photo: Premier Stan Mathabatha signs the pledge to fight against corruption in the province.