Corruption is crippling South Africa

AngloGold Ashanti chairman Sipho Pityana
AngloGold Ashanti chairman Sipho Pityana

South Africa is on the verge of joining the ranks of dysfunctional states as the effects of corruption debilitate all spheres of life

This is according to Sipho Pityana, the chairman of a constitutional watchdog group called the Council  for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC).

“In the changing circumstances of our times, a conservative assault on the Constitution from some of the most powerful in our society threatens to fatally undermine our capacity to overcome poverty and inequality,” Pityana said.

“It is now beyond doubt that corruption and patronage are so pervasive, rampant and crippling in our society that we are on the verge of being deemed a dysfunctional state.”   

Pityana said a study by CASAC had found three potentially crippling legal and institutional weaknesses in South Africa:

  • A lack of effective monitoring and enforcement agencies,
  • No institution with a clear mandate to drive educational campaigns on corruption and
  • No “true” independence for organisations tasked with  fighting corruption.

CASAC, he said, was proposing “a dedicated, independent agency”  that would be responsible and accountable for the investigation of corrupt activities alongside “pro-active preventive measures” such as education of the public.

Pityana said the agency would need significant political support  to ensure that it was well funded.

“If there is truly no political will to address corruption, no mechanism existing or proposed can succeed,” he said.

  • Who is Sipho Pityana?

A former government DG of Foreign Affairs and Labour as well as a businessman holding positions at institutions like Izingwe Capital and Nedcor, he originally hails from New Brighton in Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape. Pityana assists the youth and through the Izingwe Foundation, he has donated to the development of his alma mater, Charles Duna Primary School. He shares his life with his wife Nkulie and sons, Mtha and Zukisa, both in their 20s.  Ref: Who's Who and The Herald