ANC: scale of SA graft 'shocking'

By Siviwe Feketha Time of article published Jun 26, 2018

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THE ANC says it is “shocked” by the scale of corruption in the state, conceding that despite powerful moves to combat graft, “powerful individuals” have managed to loot government coffers for their own benefit.

The governing party has now vowed to take a tougher stance on corruption as part of its election campaign. Measures include subjecting public servants and senior politicians to lifestyle audits.

The strategy is in a document titled “ANC briefing notes: Key ANC policies and government programmes” for the 2019 polls.

The party held an elections workshop at the weekend at the St George Hotel in Irene.

The workshop was aimed at crafting the party’s 2019 election manifesto when the party is facing its biggest contest since 1994. Good governance and the land issue are set to be the main campaign themes.

In the document, the ANC admits that despite setting up the Hawks and the Special Investigating Unit, there has been an increase in corruption. “ powerful individuals managed to loot government resources. The last year revealed many new cases of corruption. We are shocked by the scale of corruption and the allegations of state capture.”

The party was now determined to root out corruption as it undermined service delivery. “We will use Parliament, commissions, investigators and courts to get to the bottom of the problem and deal with the offenders.

"As the ANC, we will take strong action against any of our leaders found guilty of corruption.

“It is unacceptable that parts of the state have been used to serve personal interests,” the party added.

Power utility Eskom, rail company Transnet, arms manufacturer Denel and Prasa are among a number of state-owned companies that had fallen prey to the looting spree.

The party is now pushing for the strengthening of the Special Investigation Unit to boost the investigation of corruption in the public service.

“In the first few months of 2018, the boards and top management were replaced in Eskom, Transnet SAA and Prasa to start the clean-up. Many of the offenders will be prosecuted. Ministers involved were also replaced.

“There are court cases, disciplinary processes or investigations into the conduct of many of those who were meant to protect us from corruption - among them senior prosecutors, police and investigators, Sars, intelligence agencies and politicians,” the party adds.

As part of its vision for 2030, the ANC aims to improve capacity of senior managers in government through ongoing training. It will also subject senior public servants to lifestyle audits when deemed necessary.

Delivering the workshop's keynote address, President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africans were not despondent as they have seen the swift actions taken by the government since he took over.

“They see the work we are doing to end state capture and corruption and to restore our state-owned enterprise to financial health.”

On land, the ANC has admitted that its government had failed to effectively deal with reform since 1994. The party said that instead of paying for land - which was expensive - the state had to help new farmers with financial support as they often failed and sold their land back to white people.

“Since 1994 we have implemented a policy of land reform There has been very slow progress. Land has been expensive to buy and we spent more than R50billion on land reform. New farmers who benefited find it difficult to farm profitably without access to water rights, loans and technical support,” it says.

The party has, however, rejected the EFF’s proposition that all land be nationalised, including current land occupations across the country which the red berets have endorsed.

“The ANC wants change but we want most of our land to belong to the people, not the state. We believe in a mix of private land ownership and communal or state ownership, where it makes more sense to go that route.”

It warned that land allocation will soon be dominated by crime syndicates if illegal land invasions were allowed to continue.

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