Corruption on everyone's lips at #ANC54

Johannesburg – Corruption in both the private and public sector needs to be called out for what it is and be rooted out. This was a common message from business leaders, government and labour representatives attending the ANC’s 54th National Conference.

The conference kicked off on Saturday, with Investec Banking CEO Richard Wainwright urging the incoming ANC leadership to throw its weight behind Business Leadership South Africa’s contract with South Africans which involves putting an end to corruption and state capture.

In turn, Finance Malusi Gigaba spoke out against corruption in the private sector, especially now that the veil has been lifted on Steinhoff.

In his address to open the conference on Saturday President Jacob Zuma also took a jab at corruption in the private sector, which is not as harshly judged as corruption in the public sector.

Corruption is a topic for discussion at one of the commissions at the conference. Fin24 wraps up the top five quotes from leaders at the conference so far.

1. “Serious concerns have been raised by corruption in the private sector, which is treated with kid gloves and is referred to with softer terms such as ‘collusion, accounting irregularities, or lapses in corporate governance’. Theft and corruption in the private sector is as bad as that in government and must be dealt with decisively by enforcement agencies.” - President Jacob Zuma during his opening address of the conference.

2. “We need to deal with corruption wherever it is found. There is corruption in the private sector and there’s corruption in the public sector. I know that the more there is corruption it means it is a detraction from us to change the structure of our economy and move us up the value chain and deploy greater enforcement of policy tools like localisation.” - Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies, speaking to media following his address at the Progressive Business Forum (PBF) on Sunday.

3. “In the public sector there are no excuses in my view. What is happening in Eskom is pure daylight robbery. We think that the minister should have been gone by now… Anyone linked to Gupta emails need to account and say what they know.” - Cosatu Secretary General Bheki Ntshalintshali who spoke to Fin24 on the sidelines of the conference.

He added that progress was being made in the private sector, through work of the Competition Commission. But he explained that the penalty for collusion (10%) was far too low and had to be addressed.

4. “We must eliminate the cancer of corruption. We need a strong, professional service culture and a capable state, one underpinned by good governance.” - Richard Wainwright, CEO of Investec Banking South Africa, during his address at the PBF on Saturday.

5. ”We must address the trust deficit between government and the private sector. We must fully investigate allegations of state capture and corruption.” - Finance Minister Malusi Ggaba, speaking during a question and answer session following his address at the PBF on Saturday.

He added that corruption in the private sector, especially the Steinhoff Saga needs to receive the same amount of public scrutiny as all other allegations of corruption.

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