Anthony Benadie MPL
Provincial Leader – Mpumalanga
I today attended the Anti-Corruption Initiative workshop, initiated and hosted by the Kruger Lowveld Chamber of Business and Tourism (KLCBT), in Nelspruit.
This initiative is possibly one of the most significant community initiatives within the province in the recent past, and holds within it the potential to cast a devastating blow to the deeply entrenched corrupt practises that have manifested themselves in Mpumalanga. Corruption within government, business and between these two deny ordinary citizens the opportunities to a better life.
Corruption in its various forms has in many ways become a norm within our province, with objections to it often being driven by a lack of beneficiation, rather than a principled opposition to its existence. Corruption has become an industry in Mpumalanga and despite our best efforts to hold government to account, we cannot do it alone.
The KLCBT Anti-Corruption Initiative proves once again the extent of the power which communities hold in their hands. They deserve to be commended and thus business chambers across Mpumalanga should be encouraged to follow suit.
From tender rigging to bribery, the various community organisations and stakeholders that attended this workshop were united in their stance that corruption must be eradicated – and have endorsed the vision of ultimately evolving this initiative into an independent anti-corruption body.
The initiative is founded amongst others, on the goals of taking a firm stance against corruption, exposing and creating awareness about corruption, empowering communities, business and other partners through education in the fight against corruption, to ensure accountability and transparency, and creating an ethical business environment.
Corruption flourishes because there is such a large market for it. Government has failed to take a firm stance against corruption and despite the usual political rhetoric about opposing corruption, very little has been done to eradicate this evil.
The DA firmly believes that by closing the space for corruption to take place, and if the environment is less conducive to be corrupt, the fight against it can be won.
To this end we wish to extend our appreciation and congratulations to the KLCBT for taking the lead in the fight against corruption, and we encourage the Mpumalanga Provincial Government, Ehlanzeni District Council and local municipal councils within the Mpumalanga Lowveld to endorse and support this initiative.