Crime and corruption harm vulnerable citizens the most, says Business Unity South Africa (Busa).
It, therefore, calls for swift action against corruption and theft.
“Corruption kills. It kills nurses, doctors, commuters and citizens relying on fake personal protective equipment (PPE) or without any protection because of corruption and theft.
"Corruption diverts funds from public services to private pockets leaving the most vulnerable in our society at risk. And when funds meant for struggling businesses are stolen or contracts diverted to cronies – then workers go hungry and legitimate business go bankrupt.
"Crime and corruption have a disproportionate impact on the poor, severely reducing access to services like health, public safety and education. Tackling corruption is at the heart of our ambitious plans to reform the economy for all. Only then will all South Africans, especially our most vulnerable, participate in our nation’s post pandemic re-set,” says Busa CEO Cas Coovadia.
Busa, together with the Black Business Council, established Business for South Africa (B4SA), which has provided a platform for the South African business sector to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Research and analysis from B4SA’s recently released Economic Recovery Strategy concludes that corruption ranks as one of the top impediments to economic stability, and undermines broad based black economic empowerment and inclusive growth, particularly following Covid-19-related economic shutdowns.
This situation has been compounded by many years of economic decline, leading to downgrades by ratings agencies.
The Economic Recovery Strategy, which urgently calls on all parties in South Africa to cease any form of fraud, highlights crime and corruption as priority focus areas requiring urgent action.
Only then will the country be able deliver an inclusive and accelerated economic recovery, says Busa.
“There is no doubt corruption impedes investment and service delivery, with a disastrous effect on growth, jobs and public health. There must be a zero-tolerance policy on corruption. We must urgently address procurement corruption and ensure accountability for public funds allocated to supporting small business development,” Coovadia adds.
“South Africa must immediately implement all measures available to confront corruption. It is important to utilise both human and financial resources more effectively and address corruption through the concerted attention of both governments and businesses.
"Honest, competent, and dedicated staff using the latest technology and working with our world-class financial services sector, can quickly turn the tide. Then we can attract investment and grow rapidly.
"A vigorous anti-corruption agenda will not be complete without removing all forms of corruption, from public institutions and private firms, and across all sectors that facilitate bribes and criminal transactions. Busa will continue to demonstrate a zero-tolerance approach to any of its member associations, and their members, shown to be involved in any corrupt activities,” Busa says.