UN drug and crime office, South Africa launch corruption report

UN drug and crime office, South Africa launch corruption report

The United Nations and the Government of South Africa have issued the first comprehensive analysis of the country's corruption and anti-crime efforts, which highlights that nationally, four in ten South Africans believe that graft is one of the most important problems that needs to be addressed.

The joint Country Corruption Assessment Report, presented to South Africa's Parliament earlier in the week, was prepared within the framework of the UN's Global Programme against Corruption and a UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) project to support the country's Anti-Corruption Programme. The report notes that South Africa is improving in terms of legislation, though is still lacking a comprehensive, specific anti-corruption law.

The Report is the first comprehensive description of the strengths and weaknesses of South Africa's legislative framework, and institutional capacities for prevention, investigation and prosecution. It also examines South Africa within global and regional contexts, finding that the country contributes actively and substantially to anti-corruption efforts at all levels, and that several pieces of legislation and enforcement structures are unique in the region and of the highest international standards.

However, the report finds that there is a need to enhance management capacities of individual government departments and to promote and strengthen coordination among anti-corruption entities. It also says South Africa requires major efforts in public education and systematic prevention of corruption, particularly as international experience clearly highlights the role of the community, schools and faith-based organizations in anti-corruption education and upholding individual and social ethics.

There is an expressed political will in South Africa to address corruption, the report says, stressing that prevention requires mechanisms in both the public and business sectors. In South Africa there is also a need to increase the confidence of domestic public opinion and international opinion by promoting a strong and decisive message of "No tolerance and no exemptions." These are also political matters, the report notes, and thus there is a need for appropriate and timely political engagement with resolute leadership by political parties in the fight against corruption and in support of the government's efforts.