COSATU welcomes the recent signs of progress in the fight against corruption

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) welcomes the recent signs of progress in the fight against corruption.  This follows the arrest of those who are accused of serious crimes of corruption at Transnet, the freezing of assets of a former Commissioner of Police and others charged with corruption at the SAPS, the freezing of R5.4 billion worth of assets over the past year, and the increasing numbers of convictions secured for persons involved in corruption at the UIF, municipalities and other parts of the state. 

The proclamation of an SIU investigation into corruption and malfeasance at NSFAS will hopefully shed light on what is happening at NSFAS and addressing the repeated delays in students and universities receiving their funding.

The Federation appreciates the progress being made on the Public Procurement Bill at Nedlac.  A single, revamped, online and transparent public procurement system for the entire state is critical to reducing corruption and wasteful expenditure as well as boosting local procurement. 

We commend the ANC for reaffirming its step aside rule and the proposals to enshrine this progressive principle in its constitution.  We welcome the President’s appointment of the National Anti-Corruption Council and the inclusion of representatives from social partners, including Organised Labour.

State capture and corruption has cost the state billions of rands, denied public servants increases to keep pace with inflation, and weakened the ability of the state to provide critical public services.

For too long the public has waited for those who have brought the state and the economy down on the verge of collapse to be brought to book.  We hope the recent developments are a sign that we are indeed turning the corner in the war against corruption and state capture.

Whilst welcoming this positive progress, more must be done.  Key interventions need to include:

  • Filling vacancies at the National Prosecuting Authority to boost conviction rates.
  • Reversing the devastating decline in the headcount at the SAPS from 197 000 a few years ago to 172 000 today.
  • Prioritising corruption cases at our courts.
  • Allocating additional resources to SARS to intensify its efforts to tackle tax and customs evasion, and undertake lifestyle audits of politicians, senior state and SOE management, and High Wealth Individuals.
  • Extending the ban on political office bearers from doing business with the state to their spouses and children.
  • Implementing the Zondo Commission recommendations, in particular strengthening protections for and incentivising whistle blowers.

Whilst COSATU welcomes these recent positive signs in the fight against corruption, we hope the relevant government institutions will not disappoint workers and South Africans in general.  The SAPS must be resourced to investigate crimes, the NPA must secure convictions, SARS must be bold in tackling tax evasion, and government be ruthless in rooting out criminal elements.  COSATU and its Affiliates will continue to play their role in exposing corruption. We also want to see more progress when it comes to prosecuting private sector corruption.

Issued by COSATU 

Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson) 

Tel: 011 339 4911 
Fax: 011 339 5080 
Cell: 060 975 6794