Despite corruption being a hot topic amid political parties’ campaigns for votes, it does not seem as though any of the country’s big three political parties have a clear and detailed strategy to fight it, according to the Institute for Security Studies (ISS).
Senior research associate on justice and violence prevention Judith February said in a recently published paper the political manifestos of the ANC, Democratic Alliance (DA) and Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were very broad and nonspecific when it came to fighting corruption.
She said not much had come across as particularly new or innovative in the ANC’s manifesto, which is laden with promises to strengthen the criminal justice system and step up measures against private sector malfeasance, among other things.
“It was, after all, the ANC as an organisation that enabled leaders such as [former president Jacob] Zuma and secretary-general Ace Magashule to engage in state capture unhindered, while attacking and undermining those attempting to resist grand-scale corruption,” she said.
Corruption featured prominently in the DA’s manifesto, but it was unclear how it was planning to implement its strategy.
“The DA offers some detail … It says it will overhaul empowerment policy so as to enhance opportunities for ordinary South Africans and grow the economy.
“It suggests altering governance and administrative structures in education and providing necessary support to ensure their functionality. Precisely how this is to be implemented is unclear,” said February.
The EFF had tried to position itself as a fearless opponent of corruption, ironic considering the party leadership’s links to the VBS Mutual Bank saga and long-standing corruption allegations around the conduct of party leader Julius Malema in relation to his company, On-Point Engineering, in Limpopo.
“What South Africa really needs in relation to corruption is action,” said February.