The national anti-corruption strategy (NACS) has been a discussion topic for some months. Its launch, originally planned for 9 December – which is International Anti-Corruption Day – was delayed until May.

The NACS is now open for discussion. We look at the main take-home points.

The rationale for developing an overarching NACS is to:

  • Rejuvenate a national dialogue and direct energy towards practical mechanisms to reduce corruption and improve ethical practice across sectors and amongst citizens in South Africa.
  • Provide a robust conceptual framework and strategic pillars to guide anti-corruption approaches across relevant sectors in the country.
  • Support coordination between government, business and civil society efforts to reduce corruption and improve accountability and ethical practice.
  • Provide a tool for monitoring progress towards a less corrupt society.

Invitation to participate

All sectors of the South African society are invited to provide input on this process and to participate in appropriate awareness-raising engagements and consultative processes or forums in 2017.

Specific dates and venues in all provinces will be announced in due course.


  • Work towards a NACS began in September 2015 when government initiated this process that takes into account all existing institutional structures and efforts to fight corruption. A framework for the development of the NACS was endorsed by the anti-corruption inter-ministerial committee.
  • The initiative was formally announced by Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation Deputy Minister Buti Manamela on International Anti-Corruption Day, 9 December 2015.
  • In January 2016 an inter-departmental NACS steering committee comprised of a number of government departments and the South African Local Government Association was established.
  • The process as proposed in the roadmap was divided into three phases:
    • Phase 1: Research, benchmarking and initial consultations were conducted to support the process and to obtain critical perspectives and advice on the suitability for, and recommendations on engagements with all sectors of South African society (2016), (completed).
    • Phase 2: Public consultation to obtain input and to foster ownership of the process and the resulting NACS by all the sectors (2016-2017).
    • Phase 3: Writing and finalisation of the NACS (2017).
  • External research was commissioned to support the process, obtain critical perspectives and advise on the suitability for, and the required engagements with sectors of the South African society. The research findings on which the development of the NACS is premised are contained in a diagnostic report.
  • A consultation document and roadmap for the NACS was developed to initiate the work towards achieving a ‘whole of government and society’ approach in the fight against corruption. This document was released for public consultation in 2017.
  • The approach and work to date was benchmarked against international best practice such as the UN guideline: “National Anti-Corruption Strategies: A Practical Guide for Development and Implementation.” 
  • The roadmap being followed is to ensure that the process is open, transparent and inclusive of all sectors of South African society in order to ultimately arrive at a robust national anti-corruption strategy that has buy-in from government, business, civil society bodies and the citizens.

NDP and NACS Vision

  • Ethical and accountable state, business and civil society sectors in which all those in positions of power and authority act with integrity;
  • Citizens that respect the rule of law and are empowered to hold those in power to account; and
  • A country with zero tolerance of corruption in any sphere of activity and with substantially reduced levels of corruption.

The proposed pillars for the NACS

  1. Support citizen empowerment in the fight against corruption, including increased support for whistle-blowers.
  2. Develop sustainable partnerships with stakeholders to reduce corruption and improve integrity management.
  3. Improve transparency by government, business and civil society sectors.
  4. Improve the integrity of the public procurement system to ensure fair, effective and efficient use of public resources.
  5. Support the professionalisation of employees.
  6. Improve adherence to integrity management and anti-corruption mechanisms and improve consequence management for non-compliance of these across government, business and civil society sectors.
  7. Strengthen oversight and governance mechanisms in the government sector.
  8. Strengthen the resourcing, cooperation and independence of dedicated anti-corruption agencies.
  9. Build specific programmes to reduce corruption and improve integrity in sectors particularly vulnerable to corruption (vulnerable sector management), with an initial focus on the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster.

Documents available for download:

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• Source: South African government