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Statements

27. November 2013

Statement by Advocate Menzi Simelane, Special Advisor to the Minister of Public Service and Administration of South Africa, 27 November 2013, Panama City, Panama

AGENDA ITEM 4: PREVENTION

AT THE 5th SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE OF STATES PARTIES TO THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION AGAINST CORRUPTION

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Madame President,

Corruption is a global challenge which affects both developed and developing countries and undermines growth and exacerbating poverty, inequality and under development.

In South Africa, the fight against corruption is still one of the priorities of our Government. Since signing the United Nations Convention against Corruption in October 2003, the South African Government is meticulously fulfilling its commitment through concerted domestic efforts. This is due to the fact that we attach the highest priority to preventing and combating corruption. The legal framework for the fight against corruption in the country is also informed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol against Corruption, the African Union (AU) Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Convention on Combating Bribery on Foreign Officials in International Business Transaction.

In this regard, South Africa has the necessary legislation to comply with the reporting obligation of the Convention. My Government has in place the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004 and the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977. 

Madame President,

South Africa’s Vision for 2030 contained in the National Development Plan, states that in 2030 South Africa will be a society in which citizens do not offer bribes and have the confidence and knowledge to hold public and private officials to account, and in which leaders have integrity and high ethical standards. Anti-corruption agencies should have the resources, independence from political influence, and powers to investigate corruption, and their investigations should be acted upon.

South Africa has, since the last Conference in Marrakech, made progress in strengthening national anti-corruption measures.

The South African Government is in a process of creating a Public Administration Management Bill that would prohibit and ban public servants from doing business with the State.

In addition to the National Anti-Corruption Forum which is a multi stakeholder formation that brings the public, private sector and civil society programme of action together for corruption prevention; we are putting in place an entity within the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) as a whole to deal with corruption within the public service and administration.

The Government has also benefited through the creation of the National Anti-Corruption hotline which is monitored monthly. Following tip offs received, South Africa has managed to recover close to US$330 000 since the establishment of the hotline.

The important role played by media in increasing public awareness on corruption as well as the collection of views, information and attitudes of our society has also benefited South Africa in the fight against corruption.

Madame President,

My delegation welcomes the work done by the Working Group on Prevention, in assisting countries with the view to developing knowledge in the area of prevention of corruption. We welcome the exchange of information and experience among States. We also note the conclusion and recommendations for State parties to continue to strengthen awareness-raising measures and education throughout all sectors of society in particular to young people and children.

My delegation attaches great importance to technical assistance and capacity building that would assist State parties in their implementation of the UNCAC. In this regard, we welcome the assistance provided to support State parties through tailored legislative and capacity building activities and through the development tools that facilitate the delivery of assistance on the ground the Secretariat report on the implementation of the Marrakech Declaration on Prevention.

In conclusion, Mr President, fighting corruption cannot be our responsibility alone; it is a collective responsibility that requires collective action among all countries. As we deliberate and share insights in this Conference; may we strive to achieve concrete actions and proposals that are suitable to assist States parties in their fight against corruption.

I thank you.

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