Aug 03, 2012
Industry body urges members to be unquestionably ethicalBack
Johannesburg|Africa|Botswana|Business|Consulting|Consulting Engineers|Consulting Engineers South Africa|Engineering|Finance|Namibia|Projects|System|Systems|Training|Africa|New Zealand|North Korea|South Africa|Systems|Ebrahim Patel|Naren Bhojaram|Pravin Gordhan
Global coalition against corruption Transparency International’s 2011 Corruption Perception Index, which scored countries on a scale of zero (highly corrupt) to ten (very clean) for business integrity, showed that Botswana scored 6.1, Namibia 4.4 and South Africa 4.1, down from its 4.5 rating in 2010.
The vast majority of the 183 countries and territories assessed scored below five.
New Zealand was ranked the least corrupt with a score of 9.5 and North Korea the most corrupt with a score of 1.
“If the corruption perception indexes from 2009 to 2011 are compared, it is evident that every African country has slid backwards with regard to business ethics.
“That is seriously worrying, as international investors are looking at those comparisons when considering investing in South Africa,” noted Bhojaram.
Reflecting on the current state of corrupt activities in South Africa’s business sector, Bhojaram stated that many government departments had inexperienced tender and bid-evaluation committees, which contributed to the problem.
“If you have inexperienced tender and bid-evaluation committees, important decisions about development are made outside those committees, owing to influences from political structures that are not supposed to be involved in making those decisions,” he noted.
Bhojaram stressed that, at present, government structures were not conducive to attracting experienced engineers – hence, the prominent political influence in the committees.
Nevertheless, he pointed out that there were successful local government departments that performed well because they had experienced tender and bid-evaluation structures in place, which were not susceptible to outside influence.
Meanwhile, Bhojaram urged Cesa members to contribute to the improvement of South Africa’s business integrity by remaining unquestionably ethical.
He stressed that members should deal with potential client pressures and adhere to business ethics, confront conflicts of interest between clients and engineers, make use of the corruption hotline or parent companies for guidance, and stand firm against collusion as well as bribery.
Bhojaram added that every South African has his or her own ethical balance and, even though businesses have integrity balancing systems in place, individual ethical balances also play a big role in decision-making processes.
“As a result of different backgrounds and cultures, we all have different ethical balances and can, therefore, be trapped by our own reasoning processes. South Africa needs to accept this and try to align these internal balances with formal integrity systems in helping to combat fraud and corruption.”
He urged Cesa members to embrace the industry body’s business-integrity management system, which is based on the International Federation of Consulting Engineers’ guidelines, and make use of its whistle-blowing scheme to alert the association to malpractice in the consulting engineering sector.
Further, the industry body added that it was satisfied with the Preferential Procurement Regulations that had come into effect in December 2011.
However, Bhojaram expressed concern over the fact that Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan exempted State-owned enter- prises (SOEs) from complying with the regulations.
“If the regulations are efficient, why should SOEs be exempted? We would like to see a return to [reason]. The private sector is compelled to abide by these regulations, but SOEs do not have to satisfy government’s regulations with regard to transformation,” he stated.
He emphasised that parastatals should comply with legislation, not because their own systems are not good, but because there needs to be uniformity in procurement in the industry.
The industry body also commended the adoption of the New Growth Path, as well as the accord signed between government, labour, civil society and business in 2011 to create 300 000 green jobs.
Bhojaram stated, however, that these plans needed to be put into action.
He suggested that Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel urgently consider giving preference to the local consulting engineering sector to ensure a better platform for job creation and attracting more young people to the sector, thereby accelerating training and job creation.
Bhojaram concluded that South Africa needed to become more innovative to unlock projects that would create more jobs.
Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
To subscribe email email@example.com or click here
To advertise email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here
Other Consulting Engineers News
Consulting engineering firms are providing inferior, lower-quality services and completing projects over longer timeframes than necessary, owing to broad-based black economic-empowerment (BBBEE) compliance requirements, states midtier consulting engineering firm...
Updated 1 hour 3 minutes ago A new World Bank report warns that some regions of the world, including parts of Africa, could see their growth rates decline by as much as 6% by 2050 as a result of water-related losses, with water scarcity also exacerbated by climate change. Titled ‘High and Dry:...
Updated 5 hours ago The Department of Human Settlements (DHS) has approved 101 “catalytic” public–private partnership (PPP) projects, valued at around R340-billion – more than half of which would be sourced from the private sector – that would mobilise and coordinate private-sector...
Updated 5 hours ago By 2050, agricultural productivity in Africa has the potential to increase by 70%, through technological innovation leveraged by the Internet of Things (IoT). This would meet the continent’s growing food demand which, based on population growth, is set to grow by...
Recent Research Reports
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...
Construction 2016: A review of South Africa's construction industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2016 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; key participants; local demand; geographic diversification; corporate activity; black economic...
This Week's Magazine
The two spent-fuel pools at Eskom’s 1 800 MW Koeberg nuclear power station, in the Western Cape, will be full by 2018, increasing the urgency on the State-owned utility to begin pursuing alternative storage options. Koeberg has, over the past 32 years, accumulated a...
South Africa lacks the skills necessary to implement the government’s plan to build 9.6 GWe of new nuclear energy capacity, warns nuclear-qualified Quality Strategies International CEO David Crawford. “Apart from the concern about the affordability of the programme,...
Cybersecurity multinational Check Point has released its latest 700-series cybersecurity systems for small businesses, which draw on its international threat intelligence to provide up-to-date cybersecurity, says Check Point South Africa country manager Doros...
Daimler Trucks and Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) saw a marked slip in new-vehicle sales in 2015 compared with 2014, with sales dropping from 5 897 units to 5 300 units. The decline came as the South African new truck and bus market declined from 31 558 units in 2014...
Group of 20 (G-20) economies threatened to penalise havens that don’t share information on their banking clients after the leak of the Panama Papers provoked a global uproar over tax evasion. The G-20 will consider “defensive measures” against financial centers and...
Next ArticleSeychelles development to benefit youth