Johannesburg - Corruption in South Africa has grown and become a social problem, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Thursday.
“Corruption is now becoming a social phenomenon. There is no point in pointing fingers….It (corruption) is becoming a cultural problem in South Africa,” Gordhan told reporters after delivering a lecture at the University of Johannesburg.
Gordhan said there was little media coverage of corruption involving the private sector.
He said his statement was not to deflect attention from corruption taking place in the public sector.
“The focus on government (corruption) is a way of deflecting attention from the fact that it happens all over. You guys never write about the corporates that are involved in corruption. That is the challenge. That is the unfairness that we are talking about,” he said.
“…On every transaction, there is government on one side and business on the other side. Government rarely does business with itself. When you have corrupt activity taking place, yes there will be a corrupt official maybe a corrupt politician but on the other side there is a business,” he said.
“We need to fight the culture of corruption. A culture… of making easy money. Not having to think hard, work hard, be clever and find an innovative way of making money. But rather just take whaterever it is…increase the price of this microphone from R10 to a R1000, making a nice profit R990 without lifting a finger.”
“If we don’t get rid of the culture that we are now talking about, we will not be able to fight this at a technical level,” he said.
Gordhan said whoever was responsible for corruption whether in government or the private sector should be made to account.
“But what is key is that if we think it is easy to write one line—blame the politician or get rid of the ANC and you’ve solved all your problems; then we are not educating the South African citizens about the depth, the breadth and the nature of the problem that we are actually dealing with,” he said. - Sapa