Spare no effort in the anti-corruption fight


There is a big danger when the growing cancer of corruption is being accepted as an inherent part of society.
“It is a way of life, there is nothing we can do about it perhaps, I don’t know…”, an executive from a respectable financial institution told Transform SA Online, during a tea break at the recent banking summit in Sandton, Johannesburg, shrugging his shoulders.
When executives of banking institutions, who should be at the coal face in the fight against corruption, implicitly seem to endorse it or do not care what happens as long as their organisations make billions of profit annually, it is a crisis.
To some, South Africa is on the verge of becoming a banana republic; to others it already is and there is nothing they can do to stem the tide.
Perchance the nonchalant attitude could be exonerated: daily media reports of the exposure of some high ranking official being involved in acts of corruption have subconsciously entered their psyche.
But giving up the fight against corruption is akin to giving up adherence to integrity. And a nation without any the integrity to guide it is a nation without a morality.
Indeed, the cost of corruption is incalculable, and it is not a coincidence that, annually, the most corrupt nations on the Transparency International’s Corruption Index are also amongst the world’s poorest.
For one to comprehend what corruption can do to a nation’s potential better, Nigeria provides a perfect case study. It started slowly until it became accepted as “the oil that lubricates progress” as one Nigerian academic put it. South Africans have a chance to redeem themselves by avoiding the path which Nigeria fatefully took and is battling to make a u-turn from.
Before everyone says, “Pay back the money”, they should stop bribing their way out of a traffic offence.
Beyond doubt, every individual and institution should spare no effort in the anti-corruption fight at the time when the socio-economic transformation project is an advanced stage.

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