The Director-General at National Treasury, Dondo Mogajane, has sounded the alarm over the long-term consequences of corruption, warning it would hinder development and prevent the country from reaching its full potential.
Mogajane spoke during the virtual launch of the Auditor-General SA Preventative Control Guides on Wednesday, 9 September 2020.
"It will destroy the ethical and moral foundation of the State and place all of us at risk, specifically our most vulnerable citizens," he said.
Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu launched the new guides which are aimed at strengthening controls of the public purse.
Mogajane: 'Guidelines will help us effectively manage public finances'
Mogajane said the guidelines would add to the instructions and reporting measures which have been taken by Treasury.
"These guides will support accounting officers and executive authorities to prevent the corrosion of corruption taking hold. They will assist them to exercise their obligation as defined by the PFMA and MFMA to implement and maintain effective, efficient and transparent systems of financial and risk management and internal controls."
He added that the guidelines, which include control systems and procurement procedures prescribing maximum prices, were targeted, specific and action orientated.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a widespread illness – and obviously gross corruption, because we have failed to effectively manage public finances in the way that we should. And these guides will definitely help us achieve that…"
'For both COVID-19 and corruption, prevention is the cure'
Mogajane has further urged all sectors of society to join in the battle against corruption.
"There is both a supply and demand side to corruption, and unless efforts are made on both sides, we will not triumph," he said.
The launch of the guides comes at a time when the country and the world at large, finds itself having to deal with the destruction the coronavirus pandemic, including massive graft and an economic decline.
"For both COVID-19 and corruption, prevention is the cure. This is particularly true of corruption where public trust, the effectiveness of public institutions, service delivery to all citizens and sustainable economic growth is at stake," Mogajane further said.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has authorised the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to look into the extent of COVID-19-related corruption. The SIU is currently probing as many as 600 companies which benefited from contracts to provide personal protective equipment (PPE)
"Even the most successful law enforcement instruments and agencies can only be effected after the crime has been committed and by then the damaging consequences of corruption have taken place"