March 22, 2005

Let's look at real causes of corruption, urges Mbeki

President Thabo Mbeki has posed a challenge to delegates at the Second National Anti-Corruption Summit to look at the real cases and causes of corruption and not perceptions. According to Mbeki, South Africa had made significant strides in fighting corruption there were still serious challenges that needed to be dealt with, hence the need to look at the real issues surrounding corruption. "We need to ask the question whether it is correct that important bodies such as Transparency International should rate corruption levels in any country on the basis of the tools and surveys that are based on perceptions," he said. He highlighted that corruption occurred in all sectors of society and that ordinary people were most vulnerable in this regard. "While we tend to concentrate on corruption of high-value transactions and the dealings of the upper echelons of society ordinary people are the most vulnerable to corruption in the processes of accessing services and infrastructure such as government grants, water, electricity, land and housing," he explained. Corruption was not confined to government but was also found in business and civic organisations.
The President also said that the efficacy of the National Anti-Corruption Forum (NACF) that was subsequently launched in 2001 should also be assessed in order to be effective in the efforts to raise awareness, prevent and fight corruption. A mechanism of this nature needed to have a deliberate plan of work, with defined responsibilities and accountability arrangements, he explained. These evaluations were important, as that intent on committing crime would continuously seek new ways and means to beat law enforcement systems. (Business Day, Johannesburg)

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