The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) notes President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of various measures to intensify the fight against corruption. Corruption is a cancer that is eating at the heart of the state, weakening its ability to fulfill its constitutional mandates, and sinking the country deeper into the abyss.
Billions of rands that would have been used to deliver the public services to the citizens have been squandered away. The strategic SOEs like Eskom, Transnet and Metrorail have been crippled to a point where they are unable to deliver on their respective mandates. Some of the country’s municipalities have been hollowed out and they are unable to deliver services or to pay workers their salaries.
The Federation acknowledges the work being done to restore the South African Revenue Service. Their efforts have already generated an additional R60 billion in tax revenues. We are seeing promising signs of progress with a gradual increase in the number of high-profile people who are being charged and whose assets are being attached, including some convictions. The recent attachment of Markus Jooste’s assets is a positive step in this regard.
We welcome the recent establishment of the National Anti-Corruption Council. It needs to be authorized to force government to implement its recommendations if it is to have any real impact.
The Federation looks forward to hearing from the various Ministers and Departments on how they intend to implement the commitments made by the President. They need to provide the granular detail of what specific steps government is going to undertake.
If government is serious about the fight against state capture and corruption, then these interventions need to include the following key actions:
- Reversing the devastating decline in the South African Police Service headcount from over 200 000 a decade ago to 172 000 today.
- Allocating additional resources and personnel to SARS to enable it to tackle tax evasion and customs fraud and to undertake lifestyle audits of politicians, senior state managers and high wealth individuals.
- Filling critical vacancies in the National Prosecuting Authority and holding it accountable for the endless delays in prosecutions.
- Establishing of dedicated anti-corruption courts and addressing the endless delays in trials.
- Extending Special Investigation Unit investigations across Eskom, Transnet, Metrorail, the South African Defense Force, implicated municipalities, Public Works, SETAs, the State Security Agency, and other epicenters of looting.
- Strengthening the Public Procurement Bill to ensure it meets its progressive objectives by enhancing the powers of the Chief Procurement Officer, establishing a single online public procurement portal, requiring all tender information to be published on this portal. The extension on the ban on doing business with the state to the spouses and dependents of Politically Influential Persons.
- The overhaul of the Protected Disclosures Act to protect and incentivize whistle blowers who are currently petrified of being victimised and even murdered for exposing corruption.
The government needs to show the necessary political courage and moral fortitude if South Africa is to win this war against corruption. Corruption should be treated like a pandemic, and we need all hands-on deck if we are to win this fight.
Politically, we commend the African National Congress’ for its commitment in implementing its Step Aside Resolution for those charged with criminal offences. This must be implemented without fear or favour at all levels of the ANC if the organisation is to be renewed.
We will continue to wage a relentless campaign against corruption as mandated by the 14th National Congress.
Issued by COSATU
Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794