Africa has one of the world's unsung intellectual capital and origins of scientific developments. South Africa has its own share of being a location of research and development. The liberation of South Africa was encompassed by the presence of Professionals from its inception to date. The roles played by professionals in various fields contributed immensely, be it from the liberation front or the colonizer point of view. The professional is unique for they give judgement that bases decisions and deemed reliable. They socially enjoy due respect due to the expected ethical conduct they are trained to possess.
What has been puzzling me is the role of professionals in different times and spaces in contemporary South Africa. The understanding would be that the role of professional’s post-apartheid government had to breed a new trajectory for restoration. In governance this sector (Professionals) of people play a pivotal role as they serve in all spheres of the State. Professionals are an integral part of a success of a country in so far as operations of development. I would believe the democratic breakthrough to a large extent ethically and morally infused a new trajectory. This is a product on change of role for professionals as far as the values and principles, trajectory that characterize a democratic breakthrough and the abolishing of the apartheid rule.
The recent grand corruption and allegations of executive authority being exercised by the non-elected such the country routes to mayhem should reflect on professionals. It is professionals that authorize critical executive functions in institutions. It is a lawyer that has gone rogue, it is the engineer that approves malfeasance, it’s the auditor who turns a blind eye at a cost, it is crime intelligence that comes at a cost, it is diplomats who facilitate that which compromises the security of the country, it is professionals who, its professionals who misstate company books to shareholders and the tax authority undermining the revenue collection of the country. It is the professionals. I think the strengthening of professional’s ethics in the fibre of exercise of authority in private and public can go a long way in building a prosperous south Africa. When our schools’ functions, hospitals function, police service functions, public servants are committed and prohibit that which undermines the public interest. It is professional who will stop corruption, it is professionals who can improve the service delivered to the people.
The recent developments of some accountability though passive is a product of professionals who have resisted to be agents of that which undermines the interest of the public. It is the professionals in the judiciary, SARS, treasury, whistle-blowers, and those who resisted the authority.
The state ethical fibre of professional is blatant in Steinhoff, VBS, municipalities, departments, SOE’s, business, universities. Despite this hope exist from those who remain committed to change. The role of Professional Governing Bodies leaves much to be desired for its flexibility breeds more corruption as its members are not held accountable. The role of professionals in South Africa should be appreciated by professionals for their role is critical in the development of society and economic wellbeing.
As South Africa opens a new dawn professionals, like politicians, should be criminally prosecuted for being intentionally misleading in their exercise of authority to turn the tide for South Africa. My presumption is that there’s no loot without a professional.
Do you think our moral capital is depleted?
Ntakuseni Razwiedani is a former student activist, Masters student of reconciliation and social cohesion at University of Free State