_: Corruption is a disabler that destabilises democracy and democratic institutions as it slows economic development and hampers service delivery says North West Premier, Mme Thandi Modise.
Speaking at the opening of the two-day Provincial Anti-Corruption Round table discussion that commenced in Potchefstroom on Thursday, Premier Modise vowed that her administration will intensify its fight against corrupt elite networks in order to win the battle against greed and corruption.
“It is highly disappointing that scandals involving public officials are common in the South Africa.Everyday people are debating and complaining about outright corruption, lack of ethics, transparency, integrity and unprofessional behavior in government.
Corruption has become so rampant throughout the world, not just in South Africa but both public and private sectors throughout the world are faced with the challenge of eliminating bribery and corruption,” she stressed.
Premier Modise urged delegates to continue encouraging everyone to be aware of corruption in all sectors as it has the potential of threatening the country’s integrity.
Premier Modise said that the provincial government has put in place strategies to root out corruption by recommitting itself to uphold and implement the programme of action of the Provincial Anti-Corruption Forum.
She said the forum emphasises among others the promotion of strong governance structures, sound financial management practices and internal controls, competent workforce and prevention of collusion particularly between the public and private civil sector officials.
She also called on all delegates to help in building the culture of integrity in all sectors of society, including communities, families and individuals.
Many presenters at the conference supported Chairperson of the Moral Regeneration Movement, Father Smangaliso Mkhatshwa’s call for reclaim of values and united civic action.
They called for intensified advocacy and protection of whistle blower.
The Public Service Commission commended the province for having the only functional Anti–Corruption Forum in the country.
Addressing the conference, Commissioner Selinah Nkosi commended the Office of the Premier for establishing the Provincial Anti-Corruption Unit,a dedicated Hotline, Risk Management and the Forensic Unit and for putting in place mechanisms to prevent, detect and investigate corruption.
“The Office of the Premier is leading by example with 100% compliance in financial disclosures for the 2011/2012 financial year. Departments of the Finance ,Agriculture and Rural Development also achieved 100% submissions.
Though there is room for improvement in departments that failed to achieve a 100% submissions, other provinces could benchmark with Office of the Premier the North West Province” she said.