http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 13.73Change: -0.21
R/$ = 12.27Change: 0.05
Au 1177.11 $/ozChange: -1.44
Pt 1078.00 $/ozChange: -0.50
 
 
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 Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Jul 13, 2012

Corruption Watch eyes risks in SA’s R850bn infrastructure plan

Back
Africa|Defence|Design|Industrial|Systems|Africa|South Africa|Energy|Energy Programme|Online Portal|Systems|David Lewis|Infrastructure
Africa|Defence|Design|Industrial|Systems|Africa||Energy|Systems|Infrastructure
africa-company|defence|design|industrial|systems-company|africa|south-africa|energy|energy-programme|online-portal|systems|david-lewis|infrastructure
© Reuse this



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 Engi- neering News the programme, which government aims to use to stimulate industrial devel- opment, 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 cost 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 corrupt – 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.

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 not only to highlight the threats associated with corrupt tender processes, but also to help raise 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 combated.”

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 possible 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: Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other News This Week News
JSE-listed Afrimat will make a cash offer to acquire the entire remaining issued share capital of subsidiary Infrasors that it does not already own.
TEAMWORK Aggreko Europe, Middle East & Africa MD David Taylor-Smith; Aggreko Zambia chairperson Dr. Sixtus Mulenga; Aggreko Africa MD James Shepherd
Temporary power generation services provider Aggreko announced earlier this month that it had appointed Dr Sixtus Mulenga as nonexecutive chairperson of Aggreko Zambia, a move it believed was integral to the ongoing expansion of its operations in Zambia and the rest...
Major global aircraft manufacturer Airbus Commercial Aircraft is maintaining a steady course. "I don't have any big news, good or bad," company President and CEO Fabrice Brégier told international aviation journalists in Toulouse, France, at the company’s recent...
More
 
 
Latest News
Advanced manufacturing was internationally regarded as critical to reversing the economically-stifling effects of increasing deindustrialisation and could prove to be the answer to South Africa’s stagnant growth rate, the Manufacturing Indaba heard on Friday....
Manufacturing Circle executive director Coenraad Bezuidenhout
With growth rates exceeding those of the developed world – averaging between 4% and 5% from 2002 to 2014 – African States remain key targets for industrial exports from South African manufacturers, who would do well to leverage their proximity to the sub-Saharan...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
JSE-listed Afrimat will make a cash offer to acquire the entire remaining issued share capital of subsidiary Infrasors that it does not already own.
TEAMWORK Aggreko Europe, Middle East & Africa MD David Taylor-Smith; Aggreko Zambia chairperson Dr. Sixtus Mulenga; Aggreko Africa MD James Shepherd
Temporary power generation services provider Aggreko announced earlier this month that it had appointed Dr Sixtus Mulenga as nonexecutive chairperson of Aggreko Zambia, a move it believed was integral to the ongoing expansion of its operations in Zambia and the rest...
Major global aircraft manufacturer Airbus Commercial Aircraft is maintaining a steady course. "I don't have any big news, good or bad," company President and CEO Fabrice Brégier told international aviation journalists in Toulouse, France, at the company’s recent...
MEASURING DEVICES Bosch has released a mobile app that enables the measurements made with measuring devices to be sent and used directly on the app for accuracy and on-site quoting
Industrial tool manufacturer Bosch has increased the compatibility of many batteries in its range of blue industrial power tools and has released mobile-device applications (apps) for users of the tools, says Bosch South Africa training manager Peter du Bruyn. Many...
The new Nissan Navara has been launched onto the global market, but Nissan South Africa (NSA) will only know in August whether the local Rosslyn plant will assemble the one-ton pickup. The NSA plant currently produces the old NP300 Hardbody one-ton bakkie, as well as...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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 $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96