SA must tackle corruption to progress, says DG

Unabated corruption will continue to hinder South Africa’s development and stifle the country from reaching its full potential, National Treasury Director-General Dondo Mogajane has said.

The DG made the remarks during the virtual launch of the Auditor-General SA Preventative Control Guides on Wednesday.

“It will destroy the ethical and moral foundation of the State and place all of us at risk, specifically our most vulnerable citizens,” Mogajane said.

The guides are anticipated to substantially add to the instructions and reporting measures National Treasury has taken.

The instructions, which include control systems, procurement procedures including prescribing maximum prices, and government-wide reporting including standardised report templates, are also expected to improve the management of public finances.

Together, the instructions and the control guides are targeted, specific, and action-orientated – all found to be key components of an effective prevention culture, control environment, and institutionalized compliance.

The accountability of each management level in the procurement process of a public institution is enshrined in legislation, Mogajane said.

“These guides will support accounting officers and executive authorities to prevent the corrosion of corruption taking hold. They will assist them to exercise their obligation as defined by the PFMA and MFMA to implement and maintain effective, efficient, and transparent systems of financial and risk management and internal controls.”

Mogajane urged all sectors of society to join in the battle against corruption.

“There is both a supply and demand side to corruption, and unless efforts are made on both sides, we will not triumph,” he said.

He reiterated that good governance and sound public financial management are universal tenets, and yet despite this, corruption continues to be one of the greatest obstacles to development worldwide.

The launch of the guides comes at a time when the world is gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has brought with it twin afflictions of widespread illness and gross corruption.

“For both COVID-19 and corruption, prevention is the cure. This is particularly true of corruption where public trust, the effectiveness of public institutions, service delivery to all citizens, and sustainable economic growth is at stake.

“Even the most successful law enforcement instruments and agencies can only be effected after the crime has been committed and by then the damaging consequences of corruption have taken place,” said Mogajane.

Prevention, he said, is dependent on a suite of measures being implemented in concert, including and for example regular, educational, and appropriate public awareness to encourage public intolerance of corruption and developing public finance management primary tools to identify and address corruption risks to strengthen the integrity of public administration.

Mogajane said the launch of the guides bore testimony to National Treasury and the AGSA’s joint commitment in the fight against corruption and push the good governance and sound public financial management agenda forward. – SAnews.gov.za

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