Make no mistake about it: the root cause of the malaise in SA is corruption
30 January 2023 – 18:10 Paul Hoffman
The widespread failure of proper service delivery, the painful revelations in the Zondo state capture commission report, the ongoing prevalence of corruption and dysfunction in the public administration and state-owned enterprises, not to mention in government itself, are all conspiring to ramp up the levels of anger in the land, if multiple media reports and social media posts are anything to go by.
It appears that deference to the governing alliance is being replaced by derision. It is vital to the survival of our constitutional project that all political parties take note of the rising anger, and that they adjust their 2024 election campaigns accordingly.
Make no mistake about it: the root cause of the malaise in SA is corruption. All of those who seek office in the 2024 elections need to recognise this factor and tailor their campaigns to meet the challenges posed by an indulgent or tolerant attitude towards corruption in SA.
Fanning the flames of anger is one thing, addressing its fundamental cause is entirely another. Responsible political parties will encourage voter registration and promote greater public participation in the election. Getting people to vote on election day instead of treating it as a public holiday is participative democracy in action.
Preaching to the converted is a waste of time; converting the stayaways, the disaffected youth and the disenchanted is possible if the focus is on the right issue. It is countering the corrupt via radical reform of the criminal justice administration, which currently lacks the capacity to do so.
Active citizens need to put pressure on their favourite political parties to make anticorruption reforms a central part of their election campaign. All citizens should insist that all political parties formulate their policy on corruption and no citizen should vote for a party with no such policy or a wishy-washy stance on corruption in its manifesto.
Voters should do one thing: cast their votes for a party with a credible and proactive anti-corruption stance. One that will see the loot of state capture recovered and those orange overalls issued to all convicted for their corrupt activities. A political party with no stance on corruption, no articulated and credible policy position on the issue, is not worthy of a vote.
All South Africans need to be aware that an uninterrupted supply of electricity, proper service delivery and respect for their human rights are all impossible in a cesspool of corrupt activities. As Oliver Tambo put it: “The fight for freedom must go on until it is won; until the country is free and happy and peaceful as part of the community of man, we cannot rest.”
Freedom, peace and happiness are unattainable when so many are angry and resentful.
Paul Hoffman, SC
Director, Accountability Now