Corruption biggest threat to SA: BMF

By Drum Digital
15 February 2013

Corruption is still the biggest threat to South Africa's economy, the Black Management Forum (BMF) said on Friday.

"We are pleased that the President [Jacob Zuma] committed his government to cracking down on corruption, tender fraud, and price-fixing in the infrastructure programme," said BMF president Bonang Mohale.

"The BMF continues to believe that corruption is the single biggest threat to this democracy; it steals from the poor, affects them disproportionately, [and] disadvantages wholesome companies and government, as the service often doesn't even get rendered."

Mohale was reacting to Zuma's state-of-the-nation address in Parliament on Thursday night.

He welcomed the speech and Zuma's emphasis on the National Development Plan.

"We remain committed to assisting with its [NDP] implementation to achieve general prosperity and equity, because great wars are won by good execution and good execution will save even a mediocre plan," said Mohale.

The BMF welcomed the announcement of a study to be commissioned later this year by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan into the appropriateness of current tax policies and mining royalties.

Mohale applauded Zuma for clearly rejecting nationalisation.

He said the organisation would support the aggressive drive of transformation which led the way in appointing previously disadvantaged individuals to positions of leadership.

"On land reform, the BMF is encouraged by the move to review the 100-year -old Land Act of 1913 and we support the just and equitable principle for compensation, instead of the willing buyer, willing seller [principle], which has been so blatantly abused."

Investec economist Anabel Bishop, said Zuma's mention of the NDP lacked details of action.

"He mentioned that the business sector has identified obstacles preventing the achievement of the NDP's aims, and that government will engage all sectors in pursuit of the objectives," said Bishop.

"However, the latter is a vague statement with no details on the actions needed or specific support for businesses' concerns, but the President is likely mindful of the sensitivities of the ANC's partners in the tripartite alliance."

Bishop said a much greater focus was needed on improving the enabling environment to do business, "and this was crucially lacking in Zuma's speech".


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