http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 17.12Change: -0.11
R/$ = 15.02Change: -0.10
Au 1278.11 $/ozChange: 1.29
Pt 1062.50 $/ozChange: 1.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Jul 03, 2012

Corruption Watch to cast critical eye over SA’s R850bn infrastructure plan

Back
Corruption Watch executive director David Lewis in conversation with Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer on the organisation's current priorities. Camera Work: Nicholas Boyd & Duane Daws. Editing: Darlene Creamer.
 
 
 
Africa|Business|Defence|Design|Engineering|Industrial|Systems|Technology|Africa|South Africa|Energy|Energy Programme|Online Portal|Systems|David Lewis|Infrastructure
Africa|Business|Defence|Design|Engineering|Industrial|Systems|Technology|Africa||Energy|Systems|Infrastructure
africa-company|business|defence|design|engineering|industrial|systems-company|technology|africa|south-africa|energy|energy-programme|online-portal|systems|david-lewis|infrastructure



Recently established civil society watchdog Corruption Watch is considering ways to cast an anticorruption spotlight on South Africa’s R850-billion infrastructure programme, which is being led primarily by State-owned companies.

Executive director David Lewis tells Engineering News Online the programme, which government aims to use to stimulate industrial development, create jobs and accelerate growth, needs to be designed in such a way that it does not become a “hot spot” for dishonest activities and unscrupulous opportunists.

It is acceptable, from a policy perspective, to pay a higher price for local content that could yield jobs, skills and introduce new technology. But Lewis says that price will only be worth paying in a context where there is sound governance and transparency of the costs and benefits. Otherwise, there is a risk that companies may establish themselves “simply to grease the wheels”, which would leave society picking up the tab, while further eroding the citizenry’s already fragile trust in the public sector.

“What I know about the ‘arms deal’ is that it wasn’t so much local content, but local intermediation between foreign suppliers and the defence force that became corrupted. In other words, deriving local rents from facilitating connectedness between the seller and the buyer.”

The scale of the programme is the primary reason for Corruption Watch’s emerging interest in infrastructure. The energy programme alone, Lewis muses, could make the arms deal “look like a rounding error”.

The organisation is, thus, considering replicating an approach taken by a Russian online portal, which tracks tenders and invites comments on ‘irregularities’, particularly from losing bidders. Such profiling could provide an early warning of compromises in tender processes.

The organisation is also eager to recruit a programme manager with intimate knowledge of public tender processes so that its interventions are based on a sound understanding of the risks inherent in such processes.

BUSINESS ENGAGEMENT

Besides infrastructure, Corruption Watch, which has it roots in the Congress of South African Trade Unions, is also planning to consolidate its “engagement” with the business community more generally.

Through this contract, it aims to highlight not only the threats associated with corrupted tender processes, but also to help aise awareness of the scourge, as well as debate about the potential remedies.

Lewis is particularly keen to tap into the internal communication channels of large business to extend the anticorruption message to both employees and customers. “We would like to put a more constructive spin on how corruption might be combatted.”

The problem currently, is that the risk/reward balance remains skewed in favour of the corrupt. Evidenced, Lewis argues, by the fact that those engaging in such activities are often unafraid to flaunt the fruits of their ill-gotten gains through the purchase of new cars, or other visible assets.

“It reminds me a little bit of the early days of the competition authorities,” the former Competition Tribunal chairperson adds. “Corrupt people feel so well protected . . . so certain that the risks of getting caught are really low, which leads them to leaving the most extraordinary evidence lying around.”

Therefore, even though the organisation has no statutory powers, such impunity has already created an opportunity for it to begin to expose corruption through basic desktop research and investigation.

In total, it has received over 2 000 complaints, ranging from corruption among traffic officers and Home Affairs officials, to nepotism in appointments in small towns, which is resulting in allegations of budget pillaging.

It will work with the enforcement agencies where it is able to secure evidence of corruption, but Lewis says a strong focus is mobilising opposition against the problem.

“There has to be robust prosecution and that has to be perceived as part of the risk . . . but you can’t solve this problem by serial acts of prosecution alone. There will always be more coming in the back door than you manage to get out the front door.”

Prosecutions should be complemented by “naming and shaming”, helping to design systems that disable corruption and the mobilisation of an “outraged citizenry”.

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter

To subscribe email subscriptions@creamermedia.co.za or click here
To advertise email advertising@creamermedia.co.za or click here
 
Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Infrastructure News
Updated 7 hours ago Following the drop in commodity prices and China’s demand for Africa’s resources, African economies were slumping and gross domestic product growth was stagnating in most of the continent’s emerging markets, said the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, or...
COAL BASELOAD POWER In South Africa, the reality is that coal baseload is the most cost-effective power option as there is direct access to the raw materials
Updated 7 hours ago Owing to the current global economic climate, South Africa’s nuclear procurement deal has had several industry professionals questioning whether the country will be able to afford the projected R1-trillion project. “Currently, there is still a lot of market debate on...
JORDAN POWER Wärtsilä's first solar project in Jordan combines an existing 250 MW engine power plant and a 46 MW solar photovoltaic plant
Updated 7 hours ago Complete life cycle solutions company Wärtsilä is entering the solar energy business by offering utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) solutions.
More
 
 
Latest News
Emira CEO Geoff Jennett
The JSE-listed Emira Property Fund has invested over R250-million in acquiring new centres and upgrading its shopping centres to strengthen its retail assets, according to Emira CEO Geoff Jennett, who stated on Thursday that the company was investing strategically....
Equites CEO Andrea Taverna-Turisan
JSE-listed Equites Property Fund achieved an 18.3% year-on-year increase in distributions to 96.6c a share for the year ended February 29. “The distribution growth reflects the strong property fundamentals of the Equites logistics portfolio,” Equites CEO Andrea...
It takes a coherent company to successfully and sustainably close the gap between strategy and execution in Africa, and one of the key factors in doing so is unconventional leadership, which is needed to foster the behavior required of coherent companies, according...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Energy Roundup – May 2016 (PDF Report)
The May 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for April 2016 and includes details of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s proposal to introduce a coal benchmark cost as part of its final decision on Eskom’s multiyear price determination...
Automotive 2016: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Automotive 2016 Report provides an overview of South Africa’s automotive industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into local demand and production, vehicle imports and exports, investment and competitiveness in the sector, as well...
Energy Roundup – April 2016 (PDF Report)
The April 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for March 2016 and includes details of a North Gauteng High Court Judge’s dismissal of a court application to postpone the 9.4% electricity tariff increase, which the National Energy Regulator of South...
Electricity 2016: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2016 report provides an overview of South Africa’s electricity sector, focusing on State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Energy Roundup – March 2016 (PDF Report)
The March 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for February 2016 and includes details of the Department of Energy’s plans to announce the preferred bidders for the first tranche of the coal independent power producer procurement programme; the Council...
Steel 2016: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2016 Report examines South Africa’s steel industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the global steel market and and particularly into South South Africa’s steel sector, including production and consumption, main...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Updated 7 hours ago Following the drop in commodity prices and China’s demand for Africa’s resources, African economies were slumping and gross domestic product growth was stagnating in most of the continent’s emerging markets, said the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, or...
Updated 7 hours ago The New Development Bank, a multilateral lender formerly known as the Brics Development Bank, will provide $811-million in a first round of loans for clean energy projects in four nations.
Updated 7 hours ago South African car and bakkie exports into Africa declined for the third year in a row in 2015, falling from 79 228 units in 2012, to 77 589 units in 2013, 60 189 units in 2014, and 41 446 units last year – this according to the Automotive Industry Export Council’s...
Updated 7 hours ago Networking systems multinational Cisco is training 75 people as part of a pilot project to develop specialist networking skills in South Africa, says Cisco South Africa CTO Vernon Thaver. The trainees were nominated by and selected from Cisco’s local partners and...
Updated 7 hours ago The threat landscape is changing, along with technologies, impacting on new fields, such as industrial infrastructure, which is becoming increasingly connected. Smart cities are also developing fast through connected devices, Web services and cloud solutions, but...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $149 Close
Subscribe Now for $149