Johannesburg – National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Chairperson Thandi Modise has told the Speakers’ Summit of G20 Parliaments in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that “South Africa is taking corruption on and I know we shall win this battle”.
Speaking at the summit on Thursday, Modise said South Africa has strong laws, policies and institutions to combat corruption, but she admitted these were sometimes inadequately enforced.
"Over the past months, however, there had been a series of parliamentary inquiries on public and private institutions and judicial commissions of inquiry into alleged corruption, state capture and other forms of abuse of office," explained Modise of efforts by South Africa to tackle the problem.
“As parliamentarians, we must be relentless in committing to transparency and accountability. Integrity is a culture and a weapon we must entrench within our societies. Civil society and the media must continue to play the watchdog role to subject government to greater scrutiny.”
Modise said enforcing anti-corruption laws was essential but not enough, on its own, to completely combat corruption. It also needed the commitment of all stakeholders in society to entrench integrity and to scrutinise if government action prioritises citizen interests.
She said while corruption was often elusive to define, it was incredibly easy to recognise.
“It destroys public trust and the moral fabric of society. It weakens state institutions and hinders development. It can lead to damaged or loss of territorial sovereignty because of its negative impact on national security," warned Modise.
"By undermining trust and delegitimising institutions, corruption makes it hard to take collective decisions needed to advance the common good.”
She said there were a number of international, continental and domestic measures aimed at curbing corruption.
The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, under Goal 16, called on countries to promote and develop inclusive and sustainable institutions by reducing bribery and corruption.
The African Union Agenda 2063 recognised that corruption eroded development of a universal culture of good governance – a pre-requisite for a prosperous and peaceful Africa.
Other participants included; Daniel Funes de Rioja, Argentina’s Chair of the B20 and 2018 G20 Leaders’ Summit, Ankie Broekers-Knol, Speaker of the Senate of the Netherlands, and Shobha Karandlaje from the House of Representatives of India.
On Friday, the last day of the series of engagement by Heads of Parliaments of G20 nations, delegates will discuss the role of Parliament in the G20 architecture, before adopting the resolutions of the G20 Parliaments to influence the discussions at the upcoming G20 Leaders Summit, scheduled later this month also in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
African News Agency/ANA