Ramaphosa outlines plan to stifle illicit financial flows and root out corruption
Pretoria – As the South African economy tries to rebound from the massive decline brought on by the Covid-19 lockdown, President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday said government was heightening the fight against corruption and illicit financial flows.
“We are working to clamp down on the illegal economy and illicit financial flows, including transfer pricing abuse, profit shifting, VAT and customs duty fraud, under-invoicing of manufactured imports, corruption and other illegal schemes,” Ramaphosa told a joint sitting of parliament, as he outlined South Africa's Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan.
“The decisive action we have taken to prevent, detect and act against Covid-related corruption will strengthen the broader fight against crime. The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has made significant progress in probing allegations of criminal conduct in all public entities during the national state of disaster.”
Ramaphosa said the work of the SIU was continuing and the outcomes of its investigations would be made public once due processes were complete.
He said law enforcement agencies were being strengthened and provided with adequate resources to enable the identification and swift prosecution of corruption and fraud.
“We wish to assure all South Africans that there will be no political interference with the work of law enforcement agencies. We will strengthen the framework to ensure that political office-bearers at all spheres of government do not do business with the state and we welcome the agreement at NEDLAC (the National Economic Development and Labour Council) that all social partners will act decisively against corruption and fraud in their ranks,” said Ramaphosa.
“The Public Procurement Bill will be fast-tracked and transversal contracts put in place for large-volume items. We will soon finalise and begin implementation of the new National Anti-Corruption Strategy, which will improve transparency, monitoring and accountability in government and across society.”
Through these actions, Ramaphosa said the ANC-led government would ensure that every rand of public expenditure was used productively and to the benefit of citizens.
“All of these actions will be taken within a supportive macroeconomic framework, which balances the need to restore fiscal sustainability with economic growth. A critical pillar of this plan is the fiscal framework that will be outlined by the Minister of Finance [Tito Mboweni] in the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement,” said Ramaphosa.
African News Agency (ANA)