President Cyril Ramaphosa campaigned, and his party won the 2019 general election, on his record of tackling corruption in the 15 months following the demise of the corrupt Zuma regime, and on his commitment to intensify the fight against corruption following this election. He has now received a mandate from the electorate and Corruption Watch eagerly awaits clear evidence of his commitment to tackle corruption.
Based on our experience, we recommend the following priorities to the new administration:
- Provide the resources and political support necessary for a robust, independent and effective National Prosecuting Authority;
- Rid the cabinet of those serving ministers who are neither fit nor proper to serve in their high public offices and do not appoint to cabinet those on the governing party’s parliamentary list who are alleged to have been implicated in corruption;
- Prioritise tackling corruption in those sectors that provide basic goods and services, in particular policing, public healthcare, energy, transport and education;
- Urgently review the processes for appointments to public office. In particular introduce transparency into the processes governing the appointments of the heads of the South African Revenue Services, the National Prosecuting Authority, the commissioner and deputy commissioners of the South African Police Service, the Independent Police Investigating Directorate, the Chapter 9 institutions and the boards of state-owned enterprises. We particularly note President Ramaphosa’s recent commitment “… to appoint men and women who have dedicated themselves to work for the interests of our people, men and women who are capable, who have great energy, who are visionaries, men and women who know their story – not those who don’t know whether they are coming or going”;
- Take ownership of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy and promote public awareness and political support for this strategy.
David Lewis, executive director of Corruption Watch, commented: “While there is clearly much else that needs to be done, we believe that the priorities that we have identified are all within the immediate power of the president to effect. The ANC lost votes because of the corruption of the Zuma administration. We believe that it has nevertheless managed to secure another mandate to govern, largely on the basis of Ramaphosa’s commitment to tackle corruption.”
In holding Ramaphosa to account for that commitment, Lewis added, Corruption Watch will remain as vigilant as it was during the Zuma regime. “A government is only as good as its people are demanding.”
Phemelo Khaas Cell: 083 763 3472 E-mail: email@example.com