The cost of corruption in South Africa

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Phoenix Durban

The current news highlights the latest corruption in South Africa, the VBS Bank in Limpopo. The officials responsible enriched themselves to the tune of millions of rands.
Many of the poor citizens lost their life-savings as a result.
Many municipalities, who were enticed into investing in VBS, have a zero-return. The consequence is poor service delivery of basic needs such as water, sanitation, roads, housing, etc.
South Africa seems to be competing to be the most corrupt country in the world.
Corruption is gaining popularity even though the Zondo Commission and Nugent Commission are investigating.

Why is this so? There are several factors that may have contributed to this state of affairs. These include greed, the appointment of incompetent officials, poor administrative and financial management, poor moral leadership, the lack of effective checks and balances, ineffective punitive measures meted out to corrupt persons, and collusion amongst officials.
The Corruption Watch quotes a study by the Mail and Guardian in 1997 in which it was found that R1 billion was being lost to pension fraud a year.
It was further estimated that about R15 billion allocated to pensions, social grants and other means of poverty alleviation was stolen between the period 1994 to 2014.
The mismanagement and corruption in various state owned enterprises involving millions of rands, are shocking.
The money siphoned by government officials and others could well be spent on providing the following for the poor in our communities: water, sanitation, electricity, housing, job creation opportunities, etc.
As citizens, we could do our bit to fight corruption: don’t give or take bribes, don’t buy stolen goods, report any official soliciting bribes, maintain your honesty and integrity in all you do, report crime and corruption.


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