PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
JoeSoap
 
Comments: 4
Article views: 3
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all JoeSoap's badges.
 

Corruption is not the enemy

12 March 2014, 18:30

Corruption is not the enemy but rather a symptom of the disease, a result not the disease itself. Just as treating the symptoms of an illness does nothing to cure or end the illness, so attacking corruption without attacking the illness will do nothing to end corruption.

The illness I am talking about, is inefficiency, incompetence and lack of accountability. These are the diseases that allow corruption to take root and grow. An example will amply illustrate what I am getting at.

A property developer recently told me about the trials and tribulations of dealing with the town planning department of one of South Africa’s municipalities. Applications are submitted to the town planning department. These applications do not seem to make any progress, in fact the applications simply languish in a no-man’s land. This can go on for years. There does not appear to be any procedure to hurry the process up and complaints to higher ups at the department or the municipality achieve no success whatsoever, perhaps even make things worse in the form of deliberate retaliation by the staff being complained about. All this time the developer is incurring significant holding costs on the property that has been acquired for the development in the form of interest on bank loans, ironically municipal rates and taxes and other costs such as security. There is, however, one surefire way to get the process speeded up. Any enquiry to officials in the department elicits the response that the appointment of a “consultant” may help the process. The connection between the consultant and the department or the employees in the department is never entirely revealed. Needless to say, the appointment of the consultant does the trick and after the payment of fees the process moves forward (it is not unknown for the consultant to even be a moonlighting staff member of the department).  

This process repeats itself endlessly throughout South African bureaucracy. This is the very mucous in which the germs of corruption take seed and grow. Because civil (uncivil?) servants have no accountability, no oversight management and no consequences to not doing their job efficiently and on time, the opportunity for corrupt practices arises. If there is no consequence for a civil servant failing to move an application along, the application can sit on the civil servants desk until such time as an informal incentive is applied. This is corruption.

Accordingly the only way to combat corruption effectively is to:

1.       Set standards;

2.       Monitor the adherence to the standards;

3.       Punish nonperformance; and

4.       Have an effective complaints mechanism that actually works.

There are a few points to note:

1.       Corruption exists in every society, as we all know power corrupts and absolute power ……, well you know the rest. Accordingly lofty goals to eliminate corruption are nonsense, all the more so when they form part of an election manifesto.

2.       The establishment of a civil service which is dedicated to providing an efficient service is the only way to eliminate corruption from the bureaucracy, i.e. the level of government employees below the politicians, our elected representatives.

3.       In some countries corruption is so endemic that the amount of the bribe required to get a service from the civil servants is common knowledge. In some countries corruption at the civil servant level is virtually unknown. South Africa falls in between and we need to constantly be pushing towards the uncorrupt side of the scale.

4.       Eliminating corruption amongst politicians is an entirely different matter. My current thoughts are that democracy inherently involves corrupt politicians. This, however, is a topic for an entirely different article.

A final thought on this matter. With cadre deployment and jobs for pals, the ANC has no incentive to enforce efficiency, competence and accountability. After all, if you have appointed people to positions because they are your friends as opposed to the requirements of the job, you can hardly fire them for not doing a job they are not qualified for (especially if you are in the same boat). I do not live in the Cape so I have no idea if the same applies for the DA, but I would suspect it does, at least to some extent.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Mthokozisi Khumalo
Who gets financial exclusion at W...

Wits University, like any other university in South Africa, is still struggling to win the battle against the financial exclusion of students.  Read more...

19 comments 690 views
Submitted by
Abwana Boomklouf
Water Woes!

With the current water situation in South Africa, it amazes me at how little concern is shown when one tries to report a burst water mains... Read more...

4 comments 216 views
Submitted by
Zethembe Mseleku
The three-legged “threat” for you...

The notion of “youth development” has become the central theme in development agenda both locally, nationally and internationally. Read more...

2 comments 508 views
Submitted by
EricdeCarlos
Waving a bull in front of the red...

Our corrupt government is robbing us blind! And we can do nothing about it! Read more...

17 comments 1378 views
Submitted by
Gail Shorkend
New airlines a good thing

We have so many airlines now. It is unbelievable. It is a good thing. Read more...

6 comments 424 views
Submitted by
Diego Singer
Policemen are being killed

I'm sure "Dojos", the training clubs, will do it "pro bono" self defence training for the police. Read more...

8 comments 434 views
 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2015 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.