South Africans need to work together to prevent the country from giving in to a culture of greed and corruption, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Thursday.

“Let me tell you that from where I stand and what I see, this (corruption) is a disease that a hospital or health system cannot solve. It will require an important set of decisions that all of us make morally in South Africa,” he said at the Discovery Invest Leadership Summit in Johannesburg.

“Let us join with all those millions of honest people we have in South Africa, who are in government and out of government... the honest people need to have their voices heard.”

He said the country's leadership and its people needed to fight the underlying factors that influenced corruption, such as greed and selfishness.

“If we don't do that we give in to culture that says 'I want everything now. I want to be a millionaire now... I want the best car even if I can't afford it'. We are creating a wrong type of culture.”

He said South African leaders, whether they came from politics and business, needed to be humble.

“In South Africa we have too many pretenders, who say one thing in public, but do other things in private,” he said to applause.

The country needed to be careful about “over-hyping” the ANC's national conference in Mangaung at the end of the year.

“Mangaung will come... We must be careful not to over-hype what are normal political contests in any society around the globe.

“It will have its own South African character, it will have its own South African noises, but at the end of the day it is a political contest. That's what democracy is about.”

South African leaders needed to talk more instead of “shouting at each other in the public space”.

The country needed greater economic and political inclusivity.

“Unless the world and South Africa find a solution to economic inclusivity, combined with really serious and deep political inclusivity, we will have serious faultlines.” - Sapa