Limpopo declares war on corruption, crass materialism

2014-02-21 15:09

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Limpopo premier and the newly elected ANC chairperson in the province, Stan Mathabatha, mentioned corruption 14 times in his first state of the province address.

President Jacob Zuma had mentioned corruption ten times in his state of the nation address, delivered last week.

Read: State of Limpopo: What the premier didn’t say

Mathabatha said yesterday: “Crime and corruption frustrate society’s ability to operate fairly and efficiently, let alone the state’s ability to deliver on its developmental mandate. As such, political will is essential to combat this scourge.

“In addition to political will, crime and corruption have to be fought on three fronts, which are: deterrence, prevention and education. Deterrence helps people to understand that they are likely to be caught and punished.”

Mathabatha emphasised the need to punish all those involved in corrupt activities – from government officials to business people.

“We are making a call that let us make it our primary mission to root out corruption wherever it manifests itself. In the same vein, you are invited to join us in our endeavour and renewed efforts to defeat crass materialism, consumerism and other social ills that threaten the moral fibre of our society,” he said.

“Those found on the wrong side of the law must be made to pay for their misdeeds. We want to stress that this ANC government cannot allow people to use state resources for personal enrichment. This is the taxpayer’s money. It is meant for nothing else but the improvement of the conditions of living of our people.”

He said 300 people had either been charged or faced corruption-related charges after the province’s near collapse about two years ago.

Mathabatha said the province had reclaimed its “glory days” following a R1.7 billion deficit, which had led to key departments being put under administration.

“We are proud to report to this house that the situation has been turned around and we have improved to a positive cash position of R4.4 billion as of the end of January this year.”

He attributed the turnaround to the “selfless and tireless efforts of the Section 100 administrators”, adding that the Limpopo government was ready to “run on our own come the 2014/15 financial year”.

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