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Academics, activists and experts told ActionSA today that it should consider introducing a chapter nine institution to fight corruption, offer more legal protections to whistle-blowers and help support active citizenry as part of efforts to address corruption.
These were just some of the suggestions put forward at our first Policy Expert Discussion Panel on Corruption held in Cape Town today. Corruption is one of the biggest crises facing South Africa, negatively affecting our economy and job growth as well as wasting precious state resources which could have been used to improve the lives of the poor.
The engagement, hosted in collaboration with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) in Cape Town, featured ActionSA Policy Director, Johann Krige, National Spokesperson, Lerato Ngobeni, and Eastern Cape Provincial Chairperson, Athol Trollip, Accountability Now’s Paul Hoffman, University of Stellenbosch Faculty of Law’s Professor Sope Williams, University of Cape Town Centre of Criminology’s Olwethu Majola, University of Stellenbosch School of Leadership’s Rajen Naidu, The Ethics Institute & the Whistleblower House’s Dr Liezl Groenewald and Inclusive Society Institute’s Klaus Kotzé.
The lively debate put forward tangible solutions to tackle the endemic corruption we face in South Africa. Hoffman proposed the creation of a Chapter 9 Institution, as defined in the South African Constitution, to specifically investigate and prosecute public sector corruption in South Africa. Majola mentioned how South African corporates need to take responsibility for corruption by introducing higher standards for ethics and becoming an active partner with the state to help improve oversight or to help improve capacity.
Groenewald highlighted the urgent need for legislative and financial support for corruption whistle-blowers to make whistleblowing easier and more attractive in the South African context. Professor Williams noted the need for the professionalisation of the public sector to ensure that we employ competent and ethical people. Naidu reflected on the importance of leadership in fighting corruption, and how we need to hold our leaders to higher standards. Finally, Kotze reflected on the need of addressing corruption to ensure that we can build a more inclusive society.
Today’s expert panel – the first in a series of 11 such panels – forms part of ActionSA’s broader policy engagement process ahead of our inaugural policy conference in September where we are also asking everyday experts, our members, and the people of South Africa for solutions to the most pressing issues in our society.
ActionSA believes that solutions on how to fix South Africa won’t come from politicians but will come from experts and ordinary citizens who are most affected. Together we will be able to provide a clear alternative for South Africans and usher in change in the 2024 elections. Submissions can be made on ActionSA’s public platform here (https://www.actionsa.org.za/policy/).