South Africa 24.10.2013 07:00 am

Madonsela berates scandals which taint business in SA

FILE PICTURE: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Michel Bega

FILE PICTURE: Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. Picture: Michel Bega

Scandals in the construction industry, including findings of collusion in the construction of stadiums, roads and bridges, have tainted the entire industry, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has said.

Madonsela said the impact of the bread price fixing affair was the same and so had been the impact of the auction collusion scandal.

She was addressing a two-day Black Management Forum conference held in Midrand, north of Johannesburg, yesterday, under the theme “Can good governance increase trust among government, civil society, labour and business?”.

“Business had also suffered reputational repercussions from on-going findings of tender-rigging, fraud, false billing, overcharging and scope creep, among other things,” Madonsela said.

“Shenanigans in the RDP housing and school books distribution programmes have not left business looking good.”¬†Madonsela said when there is a malfunction somewhere in the system, the entire system feels the impact.

She cited the recent protests in Malamulele, Limpopo over a demarcation dispute, and said that governance failure had an impact on business.

“In response to systemic service failure and an unsuccessful call for re-demarcation, some of the members of that community resorted to violent mass action,” she said.

“Such action included burning local infrastructure, including shops. Of course I do not condone the action or even think it solves the problems faced by such communities.

“I’m merely alluding to Malamulele, to show sometimes the impact is direct as in Malamulele but most of the time the impact is indirect.”

Mandonsela mentioned inadequate or distorted accountability to citizens with an increasing trust deficit, emerging culture of lack of respect for the rule of law and power mongering and endless power struggles as some of the key factors that seem to contribute to governance failure.

She told delegates that business can improve good governance by refraining from offering or agreeing to provide bribes or other forms of gratification; refusing to form part of cartels and reporting invitations to participate, and refraining from using power and connections to influence the issuing of unnecessary tenders or getting tenders they do not qualify for.

 

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