Campaigning against corruption

The mandate of government is to cater for the interests, concerns, demands and needs of all. However, when a government prioritises profits and one-sided economic growth above the welfare and well-being of people and the environment, it is likely to turn a blind eye to corrupt economic activity, or worse still, to become engaged in corruption itself.

Corruption is not only undermining the credibility of our new democracy,  it is also depriving our people, especially those in poor communities, of the vital resources they need to improve their living conditions. Corruption channels money away from where it is needed and makes it impossible for the disdvantaged to escape the grip of poverty. Corruption robs citizens of so much more. It undermines integrity and trust, dehumanising relationships between people as it places a premium on profit, however it is gained. It also paralyses a people into silence for fear of victimisation. Honest people are reluctant to speak out when they see corruption because they are scared that they will be “dealt” with. The premature, unexplained deaths of previous whistle-blowers serves as a major deterrent.

Although we cannot blame government for all instances of corruption, although we recognise that business needs to held equally accountable for its role in corruption (or perhaps more so as it is often business that initiates corrupt relationships with government officials), it is, in the end, government that allows or hinders corruption from infesting our economy and eating away at the gains we have made. Inadequate and ineffective systems put in place by government can be fertile ground for corruption to spread unabated. Every day, we hear of more instances of the misuse of state and private funds, and yet very little effective action seems to be taking place to stop it. We do not hear an unequivocal message from government that corruption will not be tolerated, backed up by visible, decisive action against the corrupt.

Civil society has been caught “resting on its laurels”, so to speak, when it comes to holding government accountable. The crucial, much needed voice of civil society has been muted since the dawn of democracy. Awethu! A People’s Platform for Social Justice seeks to coordinate and amplify this voice.

It is for this reason that Awethu! has committed itself to mobilising for the Unite Against Corruption events to be held in a number of provinces up to and on 30 September 2015.

There are events (marches, pickets et al) confirmed in Cape Town, Pretoria, Durban, Polokwane, the Vhembe district in Limpopo, and Grahamstown.

Interested in getting involved in Durban? Follow United Against Corruption KZN for more details.

Please contact the following people for more information on the other events:

Tebogo Sephakgamela - 079 606 5646 (Polokwane)
Abraham Agulhus - 071 117 1857 (Cape Town)
Thuli Ngubane - 079 240 4255 (Pretoria)
Zukiswa Kota - 046 603 8583 (Grahamstown)
Abraham Agulhus - 071 117 1857 (Cape Town)

The events will be peaceful, safe and well-marshalled. Please join us.

If you want to speak out against corruption by mobilising people to take action in your area, please contact Thuli Ngubane on 079 240 4255 to discuss.

Visit www.uniteagainstcorruption.co.za.