Major General Bantu Holomisa.
Delivering the public lecture entitled: “Corruption in South Africa; a highlighted cause of economic falter: A quest for solutions”, Holomisa highlighted public corruption scandals dating back to 1996, to the most recent allegations of senior public representatives flouting procurement process during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Parliamentarian lamented that continuous change in government policies and looting the public purse, have adverse effects on investor confidence and ultimately the country’s economy.
The recent uprisings with acts of violence and looting in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal occupying the news headlines, have grossly clouded the commemoration of Mandela month. Holomisa emphasised that government’s failure to hold corrupt leaders accountable, has given rise to the “non-consequence phenomenon” which evidently manifested from social media during the recent mass public looting spree.
He quoted a tweet: “What is the difference between those in government looting billions of rand and us lootings from shops? It is just our turn to eat.”
Responding to issues raised, former Police Commissioner and CEO of the Safer South Africa Foundation, General Riah Phiyega, detailed the effects of corruption and its negative economic and social impact, which subsequently puts the burden on taxpayers.
“Corruption is so corrosive, you wish to shut your eyes and not to see it,” she said.
Gen Riah Phiyega.
Phiyega called on citizens to roll up their sleeves and fight corruption with the same vigour demonstrated in protecting businesses during the recent mass lootings.
Citing from the 2020 CPI (Corruption Perception Index) report, she said South Africa scored only 44 out of 100 and ranked 69 out of 180 countries assessed and surveyed by experts and business people respectively. The scale of 0-100 was used, with zero being highly corrupt and 100 indicated “being very clean”. The report highlighted the impact of corruption on the abilities of countries in managing their health-care responses to COVID-19.
During the State of the Nation’s address (SONA) earlier this year, President Cyril Ramaphosa identified the fight against corruption as one of the key Government priorities. The Statesman reiterated that government acted decisively to put a stop to corruption when reports of possible fraud and corruption in the procurement of COVID-related goods and services started surfacing, acting against those responsible.
In her closing remarks, Gen Phiyega appealed to the TUT community to safeguard the integrity of the University, promote good governance and create an institution that will breed great future leaders.