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Corruption Watch is encouraging all South Africans to sign a pledge to be a responsible and honest citizen, and to undertake to: “neither pay nor take bribes; obey the law and encourage others around me to obey the law and to treat public resources respectfully; neither abuse any public money entrusted to my care, nor any position I hold as a public servant; act with integrity in all my dealings with government; and always remember that public resources are intended for the benefit of the public, not for private gain”.
If you have suspicions that some form of corruption is taking place, you should report it; not only to us, but to an appropriate authority. In fact, people in positions of authority are required by law to report corrupt activities involving more than R100 000 to the police, or they are guilty of a crime. If found guilty, they can incur a fine or a prison sentence.
There are also a number of crime-fighting organisations and non-governmental organisations you can turn to with your suspicions, like the police or the Public Protector or the Open Democracy Advice Centre. However, it is not just up to individuals to take action. Companies too can help combat corruption.All businesses should develop anti-corruption policies and guidelines.
Education and training for all employees about corruption and how to avoid or report it should be part of any induction programme. Businesses can establish whistle-blowing hotlines and internal audit procedures. They should ensure all employees, and particularly any involved in tender and procurement programmes, are aware of the law and their roles and responsibilities to obey it (and possible criminal charges if they do not).
We will in time be inviting businesses to link to our website on their sites and on their employees’ desktops. Companies may also want to extend their policies and practices to service providers and other business partners.